ISLAMABAD: Nearly half of all cases of forced marriages of British citizens, including men and women, pertaining to Pakistan, and both countries need to make relevant laws to put a halt to this practice.
This was stated by the United Kingdom’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) Co-Chairperson Niamh Connolly while addressing a gathering of journalists at the British High Commission on Friday. Connolly is currently on a tour of Pakistan.
Connolly said that acting on the United Nations forced marriage convention, the UK needs to take action against the forced marriage of underage British citizens and to provide legal protection to those affected by it.
She further said that last year, some 1,756 cases of forced marriages of British citizens came to light. Of these, she said, around 40 per cent of the cases related to Pakistan.
“Forced marriage cases involving UK citizens, comprise people between the age bracket of 18 to 25 years. Up to 80 per cent of the people affected were women, while 20 per cent were men,” Connolly informed.
With regards to the Pakistani cases, she said that a majority of them relate to the Mirpur city of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) while Pakistan has an average of 70 to 90 cases of forced marriages of British citizens every year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2019.