A Pakistani couple united in an arranged marriage over 24 years ago recently learnt that they were in fact of the same parents.
“We thought our marriage was normal, we thought we were cousins” explained Abdul Rahim, 47.
“Everybody in town knew we were brother and sister but no one had the courage to tell us until now,” said the sister turned wife, Aisha, in tears.
According to SMACK, anthropologist Juliane Edwards, who has studied the case of incestuous arranged marriages in Pakistan for decades is not surprised the least by the situation.
“It’s a cultural thing. When endogamous consanguineous marriages, or marriages between cousins, is socially acceptable, then marriage between siblings doesn’t seem as far-fetched,” she explained.
“I’ve repeatedly studied cases in Pakistan where widowed fathers would marry one or more of their daughters,” she admitted.
“I’ve heard of one case where one man’s daughter was allegedly very ugly and could not find a husband, so he forced his son to marry his own sister as a punishment for being lazy,” she recalls.
last year, a Pakistani Federal Shariat Court judge made international headlines after refusing to allow a woman to divorce her brother from an arranged marriage stating that being siblings “was not enough of a justification” to obtain court approval for divorce under Sharia law.