A debate on forced marriage in Oslo: Criticism on negative propaganda

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Oslo, News Desk 
Speakers at a debate arranged by Pakistan Union Norway in Oslo, the Norwegian capital criticised negative propaganda in the pretext of forced marriage. They said, “Islam does not allow forced marriage, it has no space in an Islamic society or democratic culture.”
Speaking at the debate Chairman Pakistan Union Norway said, the wrong impression is being developed abroad including Norway that children are being forced by their parents for marriage. He added, there is also a confusion about forced marriage and arranged marriage, sometime people mixed them. He explained that actually these are two separate practises, arranged marriage means some time parents suggest their children in selection of good life
partner but they don’t force them while forced marriage is to force for marriage against their desire.


He emphasized that today, society is open, civilized and educated and nobody can force a person for marriage. Qamar Iqbal however said, arrange marriage is related to our culture and it is being conducted with will of both parties, bride and groom.
Visiting Research Scholar and senior journalist Syed Sibtain Shah said, Pakistan is a Muslim country where Islamic rules are being followed in the context of marriage. According to the rules, nobody can force a bride and  a groom to marry each other.
He added, Islam does not allow a forced marriage. Marriage is an agreement between two parties, husband and wife and it is essential both of them should be agreed on the deed to live together.


He said, forced marriage is a marriage when one or both of the parties are not agreed but the marriage takes place without their consent or against their will. He explained, a forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, because in an arrange marriage both parties agree to have assistance or suggestion of their parents or a third party (such as a marriage bureau) in choosing a matching life partner.
The scholar said, husband and wife make a family which is a basic unit of the society and if basic unit faces dispute at its start then whole society will effect.
About a forced marriage, Syed Sibtain Shah further explained that in some cases the marriage takes place when the bride, groom or both do not want to get married but are forced to by others to marry each other. About Pakistan he said, usually, parents in Pakistan asked desire of their children for marriage but in some of the cases people force their offspring, it is very rear in Pakistan but media propagate it massively.
He however said, this is an important issue and could not be ignored, we have to review the situation and prevent a trend of forced marriage in the society.


Other participants also said, Pakistan’s situation is also being reflected abroad specially in the context of Overseas Pakistanis as there is a significant example of United Kingdom where according the some media reports people force their children for marriage.
About forces marriage, they said, it is a violation of fundamental Human Rights of the people. Such marriages are wrong and not acceptable on the religious ground.
They further said, forced marriage not only affects life of husband and wife but also affect their children. It is resulted into depression, harming situation and many other problems in the families and as well as a society.
The debate was attended by prominent personalities from different fields including a leading figure in humanitarian services from Faisalabad, Pakistan Khawaja Sajid Razaq Sikka, social personality from Denmark Ch M.Ashraf, Iqbal Ahmad from UK, Media person from Portugal Shahrukh Sohail and senior Journalist from Gujrat, Pakistan Mahmood Akhtar. a group of Norwegian Pakistanis also took part in the debate.
The event was followed by dinner hosted by Norwegian Pakistani business and social persons Ch Mansha Khan.

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