I found an intriguing and thought provoking article in Arab Times I’d love to get your opinions on:
Apparently, a Pakistani pupil has been expelled from his private school in Peshwar for secretly marrying his 16-year-old cousin. The reason? Teachers at the school believe that marital relations shouldn’t be discussed in the playground.
Age of Consent
The groom in question Ghairat Khan sports a beard and attends 7th grade at the English-language Peshawar Model School. His peers are 12 and 13 year old boys, yet Ghairat insists he is in fact, 18. According to the Arab Times, it’s not unheard of for students to fall back a few years in some areas of Pakistan.
Khan insists he married his cousin because his father died and his mother was ill. Pakistani civil law permits boys to marry at 18 and girls at 16, but under Islamic law, younger unions with parental consent.
“After my father passed away, my uncle became the guardian of our family and he gave me the hand of his daughter and my cousin in marriage as my mother also wanted to see me get married in her lifetime,” he told AFP.
Khan’s family hails from the tribal district of Mohmand, which lies outside direct government control, but he now lives in the northwestern city of Peshawar. He claims he asked his school for permission to take time off for “a cousin’s” wedding” (which was true… although the explanation was somewhat sparse in providing relevant information).
When teachers discovered that Ghairat was, in fact the groom at the wedding, they promptly expelled him – issuing a certificate that states the school expressly forbids married students.
Every Action has a Reaction
In protest against what he perceives to be unfair expulsion, Ghairat Khan took the school to court in Peshawar, where a judge summoned the school’s principal and director on June 9th.
“There is no law in Pakistan under which a school can expel students for marrying. Under Islamic law, minors can marry with consent of their parents,” Khan’s lawyer Isa Khan told AFP.
What do you think, dear readers? Should Ghairat Khan be expelled for marrying his cousin and thinly veiling his true intentions or should he simply be seen as a son who wanted to grant his ill mother her wish to see him wed?