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I spoke up to make Pakistani women strong and to defend my husband, says Faryal Makhdoom

British-Pakistani boxing champ Amir Khan and his wife Faryal Makhdoom appear to have a picture-perfect marriage, but a shocking Snapchat story Faryal published earlier this week alleged that the couple has long been suffering harassment at the hands of Amir’s family.

On Snapchat, Faryal, who is also building her own beauty brand, claimed that her in-laws attempted to hit her and also tried to engineer a divorce when she was nine months pregnant with the couple’s first child. She claimed that her husband was also a victim of their bullying tactics.
Screenshots of Faryal’s Snapchat story

As Faryal’s Snapchat story began circulating on social media and in the press, some in Pakistan lauded her for speaking out against domestic violence and harassment while others criticised her and questioned her motives. Many also wondered whether Amir was standing by Faryal through these disclosures.

Faryal spoke to Images about the fallout from her revelation, and explained that she and Amir are very much on the same team.

“I did it spoke out on Snapchat because there are so many Pakistani daughters-in-law who go through this and never speak up,” says Faryal. “I was one of them, who stayed quiet for my husband’s respect, for my family’s sake. I spoke up to make these women strong… I spoke up to defend my husband who’s done so much for his family but still gets grief, why? I wanted people to see this is unacceptable.”
The couple wed in the summer of 2013 in New York. Photo: Action Images/Dailymail

When asked about how Amir figured into this situation, Faryal explains that he gradually came to see her grievances were not unfounded. “At first it was the cultural thing of mom, dad, listen to everything they say. But in time Amir saw I was getting mistreated and it wasn’t fair to see your wife and child be put through this. Amir supports me in everything I do, we are one.”

According to Faryal, her domestic situation was unbearable for the three years she’s been with Amir. She said she’d “done her best” to assimilate into Amir’s family life, but she couldn’t “win over” his mother and sisters.
Faryal says she was bullied by her in-laws on social media too

But now that she’s spoken out, she feels a sense of relief.

“Because I spoke out, so many other women have spoken out,” says Faryal. “I feel they’ve become stronger seeing a Pakistani woman speak out. The amount of love and support and following I got was insane and I want them to know they have that support too.”

Faryal says the situation as it stands is that Amir has bought his family a house, and she hopes that “his family stays happy in their house and that we stay happy in our house.”

“They are his parents,” concludes Faryal. “I want him to speak to his mom and dad forever, but I want to stay in my private life without them hovering around giving me abuse.”
Amir Khan with his now two-year-old daughter, Ira Khan.

Faryal’s allegations hit home in Pakistan, where domestic abuse is rife and women are expected to endure bad marriages or even violence to respect their family’s honour. in 2015, prominent couple Imran Khan and Reham Khan’s divorce was also plagued by allegations of mistreatment and ill will between their two families.

On social media, a petition titled ‘Team Faryal Makhdoom’ is being circulated, among other hashtags and shows of support.

Though Amir’s family has yet to issue a statement, for now Faryal is secure in her decision to go public.

“Yes his mom and dad have an impact on his early life. But to treat your son differently as soon as he gets married is not fair,” she concludes.

courtesy: dawn news

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