Murderer Iftikhar Ahmed abandoned son and Danish first wife to follow through with arranged marriage to Shafilea's mother Farzana
Friday 03 August 2012
Iftikhar Ahmed was an adulterer who cheated on his first wife and abandoned his son in order to avoid bringing shame on his family in Pakistan.
Mr Ahmed was already married to a Danish woman by the name of Vivi Lone Andersen when he decided to turn his back on her and follow through with the marriage his family had arranged for him when he was a child.
They were married in June 1982 in Copenhagen and had a son, Tony Andersen.
Mr Ahmed stayed in Denmark until 1986 when he received a letter from his family in Pakistan.
He told his then wife he had to go home as his mother was ill, but Ms Andersen was to discover that this was a lie.
She and her son were asked to join Mr Ahmed in Bradford in May 1986 after he had returned from Pakistan.
It was in their new family home that Ms Andersen met a heavily pregnant woman who was living with them in the house.
She presumed it was a member of Mr Ahmed's family.
The lie was only discovered when a health visitor came to the house and established Mr Ahmed was the father of the unborn child.
He then admitted he had returned to Pakistan where he had been required to marry Farzana, who had fallen pregnant immediately.
He told his wife that he and Farzana had been promised to each other when they were children.
Ms Andersen left the UK the same month she had arrived and recalls conversations with Iftikhar in which he said he could leave his son to grow up without his influence because he was a boy.
He said, if they had had a girl, he would not be able to allow her to grow up "without his guidance in the Islamic ways".
Ms Andersen described how her former husband embraced Western culture until his marriage to Farzana.
She said Iftikhar was "a very happy boy" who enjoyed dancing and going to discos when he lived with her in Denmark.
After learning that Ms Andersen was pregnant with their son, Iftikhar was "really happy" and wrote a letter to his family in Pakistan to tell them he would be a father, she said.
But despite having married his first wife in a Danish civil ceremony, Mr Ahmed wed Farzana during a visit to Pakistan.
Ms Andersen said Iftikhar felt forced into marriage because Farzana, who was his cousin, threatened to kill herself if he refused to go through with the wedding.
Speaking to ITV News, Ms Andersen said: "He explained to me that if he had not married her, she did not want to marry anyone else but him. She would kill herself if he didn't marry her in Pakistan. And then he did it.
"I don't think his mother was in for it because he had our son and me. I think there was a pressure and I was so far away. It was easier to believe that if he married her it was the right thing.
"His uncle didn't like me and that he was married to a Western girl."
Ms Andersen said she left Iftikhar after learning he had married Farzana.
She added: "Farzana was pregnant at that time so he was in deep trouble and he knew that if I went to the British police, which I could have easily done, he would have been thrown out.
"I don't know the rules in Britain about having two wives because we were still married at that time."
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