Interview by Syed Sibtain Shah
Due to the new legal constraints, there is a significant decrease in the interest of Norwegian Pakistanis in marriage from Pakistanis. There are also many other reasons in the context which are including changing trend of young generation of Pakistanis in Norway, the increasing distance between the two cultures and the varying traditions of the two countries.
These analytical views were expressed by Norwegian Pakistani legal consultant Ahsan Rasheed Advocate, who is highly educated in the law from Britain. He was exclusively interviewed by the newspaper Overseas Tribune.
The laweyer further said that the ratio of weddings from Pakistan has been decreasing in the new generation of Norwegian Pakistanis and now the new Norwegian legal requirements for marriages from Pakistan and other Asian countries have made more obstacles in such marriages.
It is clear that the since two years, the Norwegian government has restricted its citizens, not to marry from Pakistan and other Asian and the African countries before 24 years of age. According to the new law, a person having marriage before 24 years of age from these countries could not take family visa for his/her life partner. Secondly, the conditions for marriage are also included annual income of more than 300,000 Norwegian kroners of life partner in Norway. It is along with a lengthy visa application process for family reunion which can be completed in one or one and an half year.
Ahsan Rasheed Advocate, who has been working as a lawyer in Oslo and other cities of Norway for the years, says waiting for a long visa process after the marriage can also cause of tension among the many pairs. It can be also caused by a huge collapse of life partnership and patriotism between the partners. Due to this difficult process, many of such marriages have been failed so far and many couples have to divorce each other, because the husband lives in Norway and wife in Pakistan or in Norway and husband in Pakistan can not wait each other for a long time.
He says that now the tendency of marriage in Norway and other Europe is increasing among the young generation of Norwegian Pakistanis, and due to this reason, there has been a decline in bringing a life-partner from Pakistan.
In response to a question, Ahsan Rasheed Advocate said that yes, on other hand, the people with Pakistani or Islamic backgrounds in Norway and other countries of Europe face problems in the search of similar relationships for their children. Especially, it is hard for those companions who want to have equal match of education, culture and religion a long with high qualities and skills.
In response to a question whether like Pakistan, there is a dispute between the mother in law and daughter in law in the families of Norwegian Pakistanis? Ahsan Rasheed said that since the new generation of Pakistanis grew up in Norway, the conflict has decreased.
The Pakistan’s new generation in Norway is self-sufficient and they like to be separated life, so it reduces the intervention of the mother-in-law, and the others in the family’s affairs of the couples as well as understanding of the local laws in which women and children are given priority rights. Apart from this, parents do not even fight with their children. Yes, this was happening before. For example, mother in law brought at daughter-in-law from Pakistan to Norway and tortured her because of disobediently. Now, the daughter-in-law has support of law, there was a legal action against many of the mothers-in-law, and therefore divorce has also been done. Now this anger has decreased, but it is still a matter of concern in Pakistan somehow.
Ahsan Rasheed Advocate also talked about a recent warring of the Norwegian embassy in Pakistan towards two marriage of Pakistani men in Norway and Pakistan. He said that it is true that some Norwegian Pakistanis have married both in Norway and Pakistan. If the marriages are registered in both places, a legal problem may arise and it is a crime in Norway.
According to the law of Norway, the Norwegian government is convinced of one marriage at one time for every citizen. If the second marriage is not registered, it is difficult to prove it. If some men have two females who are registered in both the countries, they may have difficulties. Many people had married in Pakistan in the past and when they came in Norway, they got second marriage. This trend had made difficult situation for the people. They faced the legal actions in Norway. It uncovered when their children with Pakistan grew up and they applied for a Norwegian residence visa.
Additionally, it happened when their Norway based wives complained that their husbands have secret wives in Pakistan. The Norway’s embassy in Pakistan is pursuing such cases through its staff, including a Norwegian police representative. In such cases, many people have face sentences according to the Norwegian law
Regarding the family problems of the Somali people living in Norway, Advocate Ahsan Rasheed said that during a few years regarding Norwegian Somali people, these things came to pass that they approach their first wife despite divorcing them and marrying their new wife. According to some official facts, many of them did this for double financial benefits. That means, the husbands divorced their wives in paper only as both the wife and husband get social facilities from the government. Ahsan Rasheed says that the government has strictly monitored such matters and has tried to stop such irregularities.