Some marriages, as family attorneys in Pasadena know all too well, are over before they even begin. Twenty-three-year-old Aisha Noor was shocked to travel all the way from her native Pakistan to meet her new husband in Toronto only to have him tell her he cancelled her sponsorship for residency. The spat between husband and wife has now turned into an international incident, as Noor was forced to return home to Pakistan last week.
Noor and Owais Qurni were wed via an arranged marriage in Peshwar, Pakistan, in 2009, yet the marriage was never consummated. Qurni says he told Noor not to come to Canada before she arrived on March 4 because he felt they had no chemistry. He reportedly told her several times that he wanted a divorce.
"I decided to back off from this wedding before it was too late and both our lives were further ruined," he wrote in an email to CBC News.
Furthermore, he says he had made arrangements with Noor's father last month to cancel her sponsorship and that he had no idea she was coming to Canada.
"I did not find out that she had landed in Canada until an immigration official contacted me on the phone and confirmed my cancellation of sponsorship, which I confirmed," he wrote. "It was after that that Miss Aisha Noor decided to call me from the airport and asked me to pick her up. This was shocking for me because I advised her against coming because I was not willing to go ahead with preparations anymore."
Noor, naturally, has a different story. She claims she was romanced by Qurni via e-mail and video chat and that he was anxious for her to arrive. She says she believes he's withdrawing his sponsorship because her family refused to give him a large sum of money. (Qurni calls those allegations "completely false.") Noor also claims her Pashtun culture in Pakistan will stigmatize her if she returns to the country divorced. The couple never met face-to-face in Canada and Noor was scheduled to return to Pakistan on Monday.