20% marriages in the city are fake
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has passed a resolution to protect women in Chitral from fake marriages.
It was presented in the assembly by Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Minority Affairs Wazirzdad and was later approved by the provincial government.
According to the resolution, a man who wishes to marry a woman from Chitral will have to submit his personal information and character certificate to the local police.
These documents will then be verified and shared with senior police officials and elders of the families. Once they approve it, only then a man will be given permission.
Wazirdad told SAMAA Digital that the new resolution will prevent illicit and fraudulent marriages in Chitral. “If a marriage takes place with pure intentions, it’s the most beautiful relationship.” Unfortunately, people who visit Chitral try to take advantage of the poverty in the city through these fake marriages, he said. “The resolution obliges parents to refrain from marrying their daughters without confirmation from the police and area elders.
The special assistant revealed that 20% of marriages in the city are fake and end up in divorce. “The outsiders also include old-aged men who marry Chitrali women.” But this will hopefully come to an end now with the help of the police, Wazirdad added.
Talking about the Kalash Marriage Act, he said that the bill has been prepared and will be presented in the assembly after Eid.
Last year, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decided to introduce the first-ever Kalash Marriage Act for the overall protection of the Kalash tribe’s customs and traditions, especially those pertaining to marriages in the community.
The act is being formulated in consultation with 74 judges, experienced lawyers, and influential figures from the Kalash tribe.
There is no legal documentation of matters pertaining to marriages, divorce, dowry, and inheritance in the community, and the decisions are made merely in the light of the tribe’s customs and traditions, which involve a number of legal complications.
Wazirdad said that because the marriages are not officially registered, people from other areas marry into the Kalash tribe and take their women away. They are not given their basic rights and the men do not fulfill their responsibilities. He added that legal action against such people is not possible, because there is no proof of these marriages.
The Kalash people live in KP’s Chitral. These 4,000 people form the smallest minority ethnic group of Pakistan. They are known for their unique traditions and style of living.