Love marriages on the rise in Pak capital

About 250 court marriages were solemnised in 2010.

Islamabad: Love marriages, though a social
taboo in Pakistan, are on the rise in the country`s capital
with social networking sites contributing to their popularity
in a big way.

About 250 court marriages were solemnised in 2010 but
during the first eight months of 2011, already there were 240
court marriages, a number expected to cross 300 by coming
December, Dawn news reported.

Social media networking is contributing to court
marriages, according to Akhtar Mehmood, an Islamabad-based
family court lawyer.

He said most of the couples approaching him for court
marriage were users of facebook, twitter, HI-FI or other
social networking sites.

"In some cases of court marriages, girls from rural areas
have chosen rich married men as their life partners," he

Linking increase in love marriages with social networking
websites, Wahaj Siraj, convener Internet Service Providers
Association of Pakistan (ISP), said during the last one year,
the number of internet users has increased by 10 per cent in
Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

"Currently total number of internet users in Islamabad and
Rawalpindi is 500,000 and it is gradually increasing," he

Barrister Afzal Hussain, another family court lawyer,
supports the notion that due to social media networking, love
marriages are on the rise but added that the couples face
threats along with registration of abduction cases and lengthy

He said, sometimes the wife is forced to record statements
against the husband, putting the "innocent man behind the


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