Tragic couple drink poison and die after family refuses to let them marry

A couple ingested poison after their parents refused to allow them to marry each other.

The pair, identified as Muqaddas and Adnan from Pakistan, killed themselves just as the woman was about to marry another man whom her parents had chosen for her.

According to Vice, the incident took place as celebrations for Muqaddas’ wedding was underway, shortly before the arrival of the groom and his family.

The country's 'Romeo and Juliet' were reportedly found in critical condition on Sunday, November 7 after they ingested a toxic substance and were rushed to hospital, where they were sadly pronounced dead on arrival.

According to police, Muqaddas and Adnan had been in love and were hoping to marry each other, but Muqaddas’ parents rejected the match and arranged a different suitor for her.

In a similar case from 2016, a young couple killed themselves by ingesting poison in the city of Sargodha, after their union was rejected by their parents.

Then in 2017, in the city of Gujranwala, a young unmarried couple jumped in front of a moving train.

According to Islamabad-based psychiatrist Abdul Wahab Yousafzai, fictional stories such as Romeo and Juliet and similar Pakistani folk stories such as Heer Ranjha coupled with sensationalised and simplistic media coverage of suicide can increase vulnerability among young, impressionable people.

He said: "Marriages should require emotional compatibility, which is a very basic thing that is everyone's right. The couple should first and foremost like each other.

"You will prominently find that marriage in our society is itself a risk factor for poor mental health.

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“Attributing suicide to just love affairs and fairy tales is indirect glamourisation. When people are constantly exposed to news reports that state things like ‘so-and-so left this world after being spurned in their love affair’ – this can be very dangerous."

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, prolonged lockdowns, increasing unemployment and financial hardships have been linked to rising suicide rates in Pakistan.

In 2020, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan documented 1,735 deaths by suicide, out of which 1,086 were men and 649 were women. Many cases, however, escape detection as the country does not have an official suicide registry.

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In traditional Pakistani culture, arranged marriages are common with families matchmaking based on factors such as class, ethnicity, religion and socio-economic status.

Many are still forced to fulfil familial obligations and continue to follow traditional marriage practices – with 85%of Pakistani marriages believed to be arranged and just 5% being for love, Vice reports.

However, shifting patterns of education and media exposure in urban and rural settings have led to young people increasingly wanting to choose their own partners.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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