Sir: Forced marriages are increasing in our country. Only 35 percent of the population is not forced to get married and spend their lives in a prison. Marrying anyone without one’s consent is illegal in Islamic sharia and unacceptable in Pakistani law. Forced marriages happen in urban areas as well, whereas in rural dwellings this ratio is about 99 percent. In the rural areas, parents torture their daughters into marriage and if, by some means these girls manage to elope, they are killed in the name of honour.
Lately, we have seen innumerable cases of girls marrying boys of their choice and ending up seeking justice from the courts. Even the court’s verdicts are not respected and, in a number of cases, the couple has been killed. The practice of forced marriage is quite common amongst the poor in Pakistan. In most but not all forced marriages, the female is the involuntary spouse. Human rights awareness organisations demand of the government and NGOs to end forced marriages. Our government should look into this matter and make strict laws to prevent this illegal practice.