Led by her desire for a baby boy, a pregnant woman in Peshawar hammered a nail into her head on the advice of a supposed faith healer, a move that has left doctors stunned and police searching for the victim and culprit.
“She said that a woman in her locality did the same [hammered a nail] and gave birth to a boy even though the ultrasound had shown her unborn child to be a girl,” said Dr Haider Suleman, the resident neurosurgeon at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, adding that the woman arrived to the hospital bleeding before she was whisked away to the operation theatre.
After photos of the incident went viral on social media, police took notice and met with hospital staff to interview doctors and review the victim’s medical files, as well as CCTV footage. A search for the victim and the fake pir are underway.
Peshawar Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ahsan told Dawn that police would “bring to justice the fake peer (faith healer) who played with the life of an innocent woman and put a nail in her head with [the] false promise of a male child,” as well as investigate why doctors did not report the incident to police.
Doctors said the nail was embedded deep into the woman’s skull, and required an operation to remove.
Hospital staff said the woman’s husband had threatened to divorce her if she did not give birth to a son, as the couple already had three daughters.
“She is three months pregnant and because of her husband’s fear she went to the faith healer who gave her taweez [a prayer token] and the nail.
“The victim then returned home and hammered the nail in her head. She was discovered by family members after she screamed in pain and was shifted to the hospital,” hospital staff said.
Hospital staff did not conduct an ultrasound of the woman, so the gender of her future child remains uncertain at this time.