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Pakistani youth take spouse visa route to success

Published Sep 27, 2012 09:53am


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A Pakistani passport. An increasing number of Pakistani men have married foreign-residents despite being in relationship with women and having wives back home – File photo courtesy Creative Commons
A Pakistani passport. An increasing number of Pakistani men have married foreign-residents despite being in relationship with women and having wives back home – File photo courtesy Creative Commons

Young, old, fat, short, tall, fair, dark, smart, intelligent, caring – it doesn’t matter for young Pakistani men seeking prospective brides as a shortcut exit overseas. The only criterion is that you must hold a foreign passport and be able to financially support yourself as a young woman because this type of man isn’t in it for the long run.

Simple, innocent and conservative overseas-born or raised Pakistani girls are an easy target for these men. Most Pakistani families living abroad raise their children in a sheltered and protective environment, where they try to maintain their traditional ties with their native country and expect the same respect in return.

Marriage is a sacred union. Majority of overseas Pakistanis and respectable families in Pakistan cherish this system, adhering to the values and upholding the sacred union. However, seeing the latest matrimonial advertisements in the leading Pakistani national newspapers and online websites, marriage has become a business agreement. A culturally arranged marriage has become rather a business deal, where the groom needs to chalk out a business plan, conduct a SWOT analysis and check their return on investment.

It’s not only Pakistani men but also Pakistani women that are being married to foreign-passport-holding Pakistani men regardless of checking their compatibility, education, personality, age and long-term commitment, just to secure a better life for their family back home.

Frustrated by the economic and political instability and limited opportunities within their own country, Pakistani men and women are seeking refuge in other countries through any means. According to a British Higher Education Statistics Agency report, Pakistan accounts for 54 per cent of UK’s (non-EU) international students. In 2009-2012 there were over 9, 815 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutes. Furthermore, popular countries such as Canada, North America, several North European countries, including Sweden and Finland are attracting thousands of Pakistani students to their universities. More than 8, 458 Pakistani students studied in Australia in 2009-2010, increase of 11.4 per cent over 2008-2009.

Unless there is financial backing, life is tough for these Pakistani students overseas. Expensive college/university tuition fees, low-wages, odd jobs and unstable living conditions lead them to resentment and bitterness towards their country of stay. Moreover, they become opportunistic individuals that are willing to compromise and deceive others in order for them to gain permanent residency. An easy shortcut solution is to marry a local citizen.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) recently stated that there are a record number of fraudulent weddings and spouse claims being made by visa cheats in order to gain entry in the county and obtain Australian-citizenship.

According to the Herald Sun special DIAC report (August, 2012) more than 1,300 overseas-born partners have been sent packing in the past four years after their relationships with Australian residents and citizens were exposed as lies – 406, or eight a week, in the past year alone. Four in 10 partner visa applications came from foreigners already in the country on student, work or holiday visas in the past year, and they were most often rejected.

In New Zealand, nearly 500 people were turned away by immigration officers in the previous financial year after claiming to be in a long-term and stable relationship with New Zealanders.

Increasing number of statistics of Pakistani men involved in polygamous marriages and unregistered marriages in Pakistan is alarming; this is where Pakistani men have married foreign-residents despite being in relationship with women and having wives back home. They are not only spoiling the lives of innocent women in Pakistan for their self-vested interest abroad but leaving a social stigma for both these women residing abroad and in Pakistan.

According to a BBC report,  Pakistani woman, Dr Zabina Shahain married a well-known man Mr Pervez Choudhry, former Conservative party leader residing in United Kingdom, who did not disclose but was still married. He did not realise that marriage in Pakistan was legally valid in the UK and was given a community order after admitting bigamy.

Similar cases are now emerging among young Pakistani men overseas that are taking part in dual marriages without disclosing information to their prospective spouses. Once these men secure their permanent visas, and achieve their goals they take the exit route. Left behind, are distraught and mentally disturbed women that have no option but to either stay due to family commitments or face social challenges if they leave them behind.

Common signs that Pakistani families need to be cautious of when assessing prospective spouses for their dear ones is to have a thorough background check, assess their emotional involvement towards their spouse to-be, disclosing of personal information and whereabouts and be wary of excessive blandishment.

A time where Pakistan already faces political, economic and social challenges domestically and in the international arena, the country cannot afford individuals to further damage its image.

Sarwat Hussain
Sarwat Hassan is an Australia-based journalist, educationist, writer and community representative.


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Comments (127) Closed

Afaque Ahmed Sep 28, 2012 02:09pm
Good Analysis... Very true.... Being an expatriate Pakistani myself for 13-years, I have seen such stories myself. At the same time, having returned to Pakistan for 8 years now, I can see similar issues here as well.... But what can u do? Everybody is driven by survival.... Plz note, I am not justifying such actions. Regardless, honest survival is made so though by the current economy and the current government of Pakistan that morals are declining very fast for both Pakistanis here and abroad.
B Sep 28, 2012 03:18pm
A highly prejudiced article by a so called simple, innocent and conservative overseas Pakistani girl!!! I have yet to meet such a girl in Western Europe and North America, may be they only live in Australia. Divorce is common between the Pakistani couple if they both were outside Pakistan so why blame it on Pakistani student only? Marriage visa fraud is not just applicable to Pakistani look at Hispanic community in USA. Regarding the case of Pervez Choudhry was married for 24 years before he married again and his second wife is a GP from UK (what is the relevance to her story??)
Qasim Sheikh Sep 27, 2012 09:40pm
I am sorry to say but there are many Pakistani friends I know in the US who are married and are now American citizens. All of my Pakistani friends love their wives and are living very happy lives. This problem is not unique to Pakistan, but many countries of the third world trying to move to a foreign country that is a 1st world status. Everyone seeks opportunity. Indians and Pakistanis are no different that the ancestors of Irish and Italian Americans. Clearly Pakistan should do a better job at recording the marriage status of a person on the passport. But don't blame all Pakistani men. In the US, many Pakistanis are engineers at Intel, programmers at Google and Oracle, and we even have a Pakisan American judge. So there are positive contributions of Pakistani immigrants which must also be mentioned. The issue in the article is serious and it must be dealt with but we cannot ignore that the majority of Pakistani immigrants are seeking better opportunities just like their Mughal ancestors who moved from Samarkand to modern day India and Pakistan and created one of the greatest empires in history! It is human nature to migrate!
v Sep 29, 2012 05:58am
I agree with you, nothing bad ever happens in our Pakistan, it is all an international conspiracy!!!111!!!
human Sep 28, 2012 12:10pm
How right you are.
Tauseef Rehman Khan Sep 27, 2012 08:44pm
I don't agree on this! The writer herself is Australian based and she is forgetting the latest survey that max number Pakistan families married there children's within family so she is contradicting that fact. May be it happened with her friend or relative or any known Australian girl and she is blaming all Pakistani's. I think news papers should also take some responsibilities that they should see some facts and figure before publishing this kind self motivated articles.
Maha Sep 28, 2012 04:28pm
It's happening very often, living in Canada seen it myself. Yes simple and innocent girls do exist abroad as well, no one deserves to exploited, no matter what ethnicity.
Sam Sep 27, 2012 03:33pm
While some points are valid , I still disagree with most of the point in the article. I came to US on student visa , then got a software engineer job sponsorship. I choose my own destiny. A lot of pakistani parent whose girls are born here in US are worried and they want their girls to be married to a pakistani guy. But most girls have their own issues with pakistani raised guys. I see a trend of foriegn born pakistani girls getting married to White and Blacks (non muslim). Its an alarming trend. I attended a wedding last week where pakistani us born girl was marrying a white guy who just promissed that he will convert after marriage.You should WRITE something about that.
Syed Atiq ul Hassan Sep 27, 2012 10:23am
Very rightly pointed out a quiet but alarming issue of Pakistanis especially in overseas
Ab Sep 27, 2012 10:26am
when you have food unfit for human consumption (recycled cooking oil,milk made from washing detergents) to eat ,no electricity , terrorism, strikes, energy crisis ,no rule of law then i think its not unusual to see this type of thing happening.
Sameer Sep 27, 2012 11:29am
This is true what is happening, I have seen desperate people trying to leave the country and even risking their lives. It is not easy to be away from the love ones, have to think the causes behid all these social issues. The main issue is the corruption, because of the corruption incomptetnt and uncapable people are running the institutions. There are many factors, lack of security is also frustrating younger generation and they want to leve the God gifted country used to call home at any cost. So many people are being killed almost every day but almost no corrupt politicians are killed, it is the bloddy politians are playing the killing game in order to keep the people busy and they are amassing the countrie's wealth.
Sadeq Sep 27, 2012 06:36pm
This can be one side of the picture. The whole picture might not be that gloomy.
bkt Sep 27, 2012 06:29pm
The main problem is that their families make them marry someone before leaving. People who are single should NOT be married off at the last moment . It does not make the student more responsible at all but adds to worries. The students go to the UK to study frequently because they have done badly in their studies in Pakistan. What is needed is for them to complete their studies here, work for a couple of years and then go to the UK to get an advanced degree in a year (less money needed) which will give them better prospects. Those who have good contacts in Pakistan go to study in the UK because they have good prospects in Pakistan. Everybody else goes to improve their future.
Ahmad Sep 27, 2012 06:27pm
Hi, My opinion is that while you can alwasy make request to people (those who are culprits) for improved behaviour and actions based on religion and morals, its not going to slow down. Becasue when it comes to survival, most people in any part of the world would do any thing. The root causes need to be addressed, which can take 5 to 100 years, no one knows, only hopes.
Mohammed Sep 27, 2012 04:27pm
Pakistanis want to escape from the troubles in their country but when they become citizens of the West they go about trying to recreate the horrors they fled from!
Arshad Sep 27, 2012 04:22pm
I disagree with authors opinion and found it misleading. In this article there is no concrete evidence of percent of Pakistanis involved in marriage fraud and scams. Author herself pointed out that most of them on student visa, myself studying as student, there is very slight chance that someone will go to abroad for study without having sufficient funds in hand or any sort of help from friends or family there. May be some individuals gain their permanent residence or citizenship by deceiving other people but ratio couldn't be larger than 0.01%, which in my opinion is still as exaggerated number. Author should do some home work before writing an article but i must appreciate effort and bringing in such topic.
H. Bose Sep 28, 2012 11:51am
"People have been seeking greener pastures for ever" True! The earliest ones seeking new pastures are the "gypsies or romani" people, who migrated from present day India and Pakistan to Europe more than 800 years ago. Today, they are well-settled in countries such as Romania, Hungary, etc, living in caravans and often being on the move. They have converted to Christianity but retain their distinctive "Romani" language with words from Hindi/Urdu. Some of them have since migrated to the UK in recent years. Only their tanned complexion confirms the fact that they are not the original inhabitants of those countries.
@2paisay Sep 27, 2012 11:37am
" the country cannot afford individuals to further damage its image. " So what does the writer propose we do about it? Stop people from immigrating (when foreign remittances have been instrumental in keeping the country afloat). On another note, its not only the Pakistanis doing this. Lots of people from other third world countries also do this.
shami Sep 29, 2012 08:39am
Your research is appreciated but not 100% true. There are many Pakistani students who come to Europe or US for studying, complete their studies, find jobs in top companies , and marry back in Pakistan.
Nina Sep 29, 2012 08:44am
You left Pakistan because of these shameless people?! Are you sure that was the only reason? And now they have followed you all the way to Europe and North America. Oh, poor you!!!!!!
hina Sep 27, 2012 08:19pm
Can't really compare India to Pakistan, much older country and can i say Indians are far more aware and have more life skills as they know life is hard and you have to work at it, their attitude is more flexible and open to improvement whereas Pakistanis I find just have an attitude and don't know much about real living and this comes from me with a Pakistani background.
MKB Sep 27, 2012 11:27am
.... and next is Indian student, 54% is quite worng.
Kamran Yousaf Sep 27, 2012 11:22am
I do agree on most of the points made here. On the other hand i think the numbers may be increasing who are taking this route but i don't think its not a big ratio, as many Pakistani are going abroad for various reason and some of them do take this shortcut for obvious reason. But still i am not going to justify this thing as even small proportion does this its still not right.
ZAMEER A. AWAN Sep 27, 2012 11:11am
In foreign very few marriages reached upto happy ending, I know Desi's Western are exploiting too the youth (Boys/Girls) of Pakistan. They enjoyed the legal and illegal relation in west and then they want a young desi (boy / girl) from Pakistan and they exploit them by their money and passport. Some of the (girls / boys) who are taken to west from Pakistan are being used as Haari (unpaid labor). THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD NOT ONLY BLAME THE PAKISTANI YOUTH / FAMILIES. THX. ZAMEER A. AWAN
Iftikhar Husain Sep 27, 2012 11:54am
Very true nice article.
Hassan Sep 28, 2012 08:43pm
Good article , but you should visit the US. The girls here go to clubs, drink! wear short skirts. which culture are you talking about? they might cover their head at the house infront of their parents but as soon as they get out ..the outfit changes.
Muhammad Farooq, Canada Sep 27, 2012 01:58pm
This is not something new, though the situation may have been aggravated due to prevailing economic and security conditions in Pakistan. Green card has always been a trump card in the hands of larki walas / larka walas - such marriages of convenience that are subsequently converted into marriages of bitterness, frustrations and disappointments in 99% of cases, have always been a business proposition and would always remain a business proposition looking at the scenario back home in foreseeable future. Parents especially those of girls have to be extra careful and not to be blinded by the glare of foreign residency and greenback. No use getting into fire when get out of frying pan.
homie Sep 27, 2012 08:54pm
There is no harm in immigrating to developed countries...for a better life....Its not a piece of cake to fly abroad and settle takes too much risks of loosing whatever one has or how much he is in debt just to get a flight. then another chapter starts once the same person if at all lands to a place of his to get residency........Its a whole life sum up in an article like wish.......I totally disagree with the writer.......since she is writing from far not taking the other people take.
Paras Dilliwaala Sep 29, 2012 07:57am
54% Pakistanis among Non-EU students in the UK is a wrong figure. But anyways, a well written article, as an Indian I can relate to this situation too.
Razzaq Sep 28, 2012 07:33pm
My dear Sarwat, the image has already been damaged and the process of destruction is in progress.
Vikas Sep 27, 2012 03:33pm
Where is the "Ghairat" of Pakistanis now.
Dan Sep 27, 2012 03:37pm
Yea but the problem is not the 'Pakistani Men' getting married for the visa, the problem is all these girls living in western countries are unable to fully integrate in to the culture where they are raised in and live. Just like you 'Sarwat Hassan an Australia-based journalist, educationist, writer and community representative, once the time comes, you will not marry an Australian, like you should, instead you will be trying to find a 'Pakistani men' to marry you. :)
Ghazali Sep 27, 2012 03:42pm
Yes it is sad to see this state of affairs where people have to marry abroad just to get citizenship. This problem has been highlighted well, but this is a problem that can only be resolved if we work on other issues in the country. The day Pakistan recognizes the hard work, brilliance and intellect of its own students is the day that this problem will be fixed. The only option students have is to go abroad. We love to call ourselves "proud Pakistanis" but let's be honest... In light of the current issues that plague this country, there is very little to be proud of. Let's deal with our politicians, our energy crisis, lack of education and job opportunities, and then we can proceed with this issue. We always tend to focus on the effects. We never consider the cause of these effects.
parvez ahmed Sep 28, 2012 09:04pm
well i think divorce is better the stay married if both people are not happy why stay married? i have seen many people in my own family in pakistan that they wer married but never happy forwhatever reason but stay married more of economic reasons then anything else but in the wester countries mostly both husband and wife work and so splitting is better then staying if you dont get along. to be honest i found in the stats less compicated then in back home (pakistn)
Usman Sep 28, 2012 08:24am
We have a habilt of firefighting and don't search/highlight the route cause. i am not in favor of practice mentioned above but i do feel that rather than discussing the fact that how its done, we should focus on why is it done........!!!! Nice effort, but dig in deeper.......
dan Sep 28, 2012 07:39pm
Your wrong. His a hundred percent correct.
Raza Zaidi Sep 27, 2012 04:36pm
If people were migrating fairly, nothing would be a problem. Pakistanis tend to make the most numbers in these cases. Also good, but also bad.
Raza Sep 27, 2012 04:37pm
If people were migrating fairly, nothing would be a problem. Others might be doing it but Pakistanis are doing it more. Also, if a country seems to be doing only bad it raises quite a problem.
Umer Sep 27, 2012 04:38pm
Good riddance!!! There is a considerable population in Pakistan which suffers from the 'grass is greener on the other side' complex. But please don't dare come back when Pakistan stabilizes itself and prosperity returns.
peddarowdy Sep 27, 2012 04:57pm
Not too long ago, 8 or so Pakistani origin men, who were born in UK(I think) were convicted of targeting teenaged white girls in a sexual way. They abused more than 40 such girls. They were the typical Pakistani males with a beard and contempt for whites and most claimed they were asking for it during the trial..
Nasr KiKi Sep 27, 2012 05:26pm
I am ashmed of some of my countrymen here in USA. I have seen & heard a lot of Greencard marriages and also paid Green Card marraiges. I regularly come accross dishonest countrymen with criminal mind. It hurts me a lot when we as a muslim first then as a Pakistani in a foreign country also keep doing the same crime which is currently rampant in our motherland. I think we are ill and have aquired a disease that is called GREED!
kdp Sep 28, 2012 08:02pm
Several Pakistani Male in the USA marry Hiospanic and white Us citizen only to get legal sttaus . After acquiring the legal status they divorce and bring their Pakisani spouse to join them
Salman Sep 27, 2012 06:10pm
Over hyped article and dodgy use of statistics at best. Sweeping generalizations that is based on no evidence. Stat about Pakistani Students being 54% in UK is absolute bunk. To conclude that because students have a tough life they develop resentment is an insult to all the hardworking young people. 30 years ago I was one of them and yes at times I had to skip a meal to get by but that made my resolve to succeed even stronger. And I say with full confidence that I was not the exception. As the president of the student associations over several years I came in contact with hundreds of Pakistani students, none, repeat zero, of the Pakistani students, were involved in this scam. Now I am one of the long time settled Pakistani here and see many young Pakistani students working hard. In last 30 years I have yet to see more than two incidences of marriage break-ups where overseas spouses were involved. In both cases it would have broken up no matter where they came from. By the way I am actively involved in our community of over 100,000 Pakistanis.
tommy Sep 27, 2012 06:12pm
This is happening because of your army policies . For them jihadi groups are more important than well being of their common citizens. This is the time when much of the developing world is growing rapidly except pakistan.
Sandip Sep 27, 2012 11:40am
Can you please provide your reference for this?
Sandip Sep 27, 2012 11:42am
The aim is not to get education. Aim is to settle there. Education is just a means to settle. Thats the issue. I am 100% sure that universities in India and Pakistan part better education then the colleges that this guys go to.
Aisha Sep 27, 2012 11:43am
I agree, good article. 'In 2009-2012 there were over 9, 815 Pakistani students enrolled in higher education institutes.' that's correct, . it says Pakistan accounts for 54% of the non-EU international students, which means its makes up the total of 54% of non-EU students which includes other nations.I am not surprised have cousins flocking overseas every year!
Ahmed Sep 27, 2012 11:50am
54% students from Pakistan is definitely incorrect or typo error. This issue is not confined to Pakistan only but Bangladesh and India too, though Pakistan is increasingly visible on the scene. Owing to this problem UK has increased permanent settlement duration for a spouse from 2 years to 5 years in July this year and I'm sure other countries will follow soon. Many families abroad are mindful of this issue and they do the necessary checks especially for strangers.
Agha Ata (USA) Sep 27, 2012 12:51pm
Many Indians living in the USA are returning to their country for a better life. Think about it.
major-ji Sep 27, 2012 01:41pm
To great extent it is true for the countries mentioned. In Germany however now is great awakening and girls groomed up here can not be trapped so easily. Unfortunately suitable matches for such girls in Germany are also not available. There is no harm in getting married with some one from Pakistan but then Qole Sadid (truth) love and affection for successful marriage would be required. If boys can show these traits and marry for real marriage the stay in new country is automatically granted.
Ali Sep 27, 2012 01:45pm
I work for a university in UK and i agree 54% figure is not right.
kdspirited Sep 27, 2012 01:47pm
Well going for studies abroad requires means, This article is about people using illegal means to stay abroad. Mostly by runing the lives of innocent women who are of mariageable age. Most often born in foreign lands and their hypocritical parents want them to marry a "desi" from back home instead of a boy of their choice in the country where they were born. Most of the time these women have no concept of Pakistan other than the fact that their parents are from there. For them the country they were born in is theirs
somebody pakistani Sep 28, 2012 08:57pm
typical pakistani response, instead of being ashamed, trying to justify, i left pakistan a long time ago because of these shameless people and they have come all over europe and norh america...............
Aamer Iqbal Sep 27, 2012 01:56pm
Absolutely reprehensible that Pakistani take this particular route to getting a successful stay in Foreign Lands, but this not only confined to Pakistanis and not to the extent that the author of the article suggests. Her statement that "According to a British Higher Education Statistics Agency report, Pakistan accounts for 54 per cent of UK
Chaman Sep 27, 2012 01:54pm
People have been seeking greener pastures for ever. Nothing new about that. Numbers are not that alarming considering Pakistan's population growth rate. 9000 people are probably born every second in Pakistan. but, the issue that concerns me is that in order to improve personal fortunes, lives of spouses and children left behind are scarred for ever. That sounds very immoral and irresponsible to me. Second point I want to make is that it is easy to blame politicians always for ills of the society, not that some of them do not deserve the reputation, but, what about the people themselves. The corruptions runs right across the board and permeates all levels of the society. What the article tries to uncover here is an extension of the immorality plaguing the society. How can societies where people are so unconcerned about the fatevof the nation thrive when ever one is involved with loot plunder and murders every day. What about the alarming population growth in the country. Are the politicians to be blamed for that too. I am not trying to defend the politicians but trying to raise the point about how important it is for the individuals to live as moral and responsible citizens of the country.
Virendra Sep 28, 2012 09:46am
May be because this is a Pakistani newspaper catering to Pakistani population.
boupal Sep 27, 2012 04:13pm
its totally wrong....
Mustafa Sep 28, 2012 11:18am
Finally someone dares to touch on this topic. I give credit to the author.
Shah Sep 28, 2012 08:12am
What has Hindustan to do with this article? But when you are into it: I wast majority of Hindustani I met in in Singapore as a student had absolutely no intention of going back to Hindustan after their studies. I witnessed the same in Europe as well. It all comes down to bad economical conditions back home for most of these people and I see so problem with people trying to find a better life some where els. But VISA sor marriage is absolutely wrong in any case!
S Khan Sep 27, 2012 01:37pm
true that!
imran Sep 28, 2012 09:20pm
is that bad
Imran Sep 28, 2012 02:25pm
Ahmad Sep 27, 2012 12:12pm
Good article. In addition to background checks and watching for clues, pre-nuptial agreements can be very helpful, especially where division of property or financial issues are concerned, upon divorce.
Rao Sep 27, 2012 01:25pm
Ab, -Yaar! Where did you cook this idea from that one can make fake milk from detergent? Is this a shock therapy?
Ab Sep 28, 2012 01:09pm
try to read some urdu news papers the foamy cloud in the fake milk is made from washing detergents,
Ab Sep 28, 2012 01:03pm
its not a lie as i have been to Pakistan this summer and i know whats going stop pretending or believing its all right in Pakistan!!!
RS Sep 28, 2012 12:54pm
When Pakistan will stop bagging and using other by every means.
Wasim Kayani Sep 28, 2012 05:40pm
Very true and realistic,that is our actual worth as Pakistanis (Citizens of Islamic Republic of Pakistan).Even these people change their religion(on paper) for foreign passport.Thanks for showing us our true face.
Kumar Sep 28, 2012 05:56pm
54% in your article is not correct figure. In UK Chines & Indians count lot more than Pakistani Student
pakistan Sep 28, 2012 06:09pm
The article provides food of thought to Gold diggers.
Mohammed Jan Sep 28, 2012 07:02pm
My wife is American. I intend to stay with her for good. So not every Pakistani youth want to marry a Pakistan holding dual nationality for some time and leave them once they are citizens of the foreign country.
Rahul Sep 28, 2012 10:59am
Oh you still think that this stuff (stabilizes itself and prosperity returns) would take place in Pakistan.
Roe Sep 28, 2012 10:48am
I am glad that you noticed that. Statistics quoted on many an articles here on Dawn, I have noticed, go unchecked. The proportion of Pakistani students in higher education in the UK is not even 5.4 percent. In the year 2011, Pakistani students constitute only 3.41 (10185/298110 * 100) percent of the non-EU students - Chinese are 22.5 (67325/298110 * 100). Here is the source:
Usman Sep 28, 2012 09:49am
haah miss sarwat i think u researched dis in Australia not in Pakistan
Gauhar Sep 28, 2012 10:05am
It is true.............. I know many of my friends who have returned back
Rahim Sep 27, 2012 10:12pm
I agree with some of it due to financial problems some people might be doing it but it totally one sided story you should also put the prospective of Pakistanis... It's seems to sound ALL pakistani youth to be mean ... while ALL overseas pakistani to be innocent .... trust me I have seen worst of Overseas pakistani in UK ... Successful marriage is based upon compromises which overseas pakistani are hardly willing to do ... that's lead to the dissapointement and failure of Marriage.
rainmustfall Sep 27, 2012 10:14pm
spot on.
Azhar Sep 29, 2012 05:02am
As I know that there are many clubs and unions for neglected husbands in UK.One of the club is named "Bechara Club"...Neglected husbands who fail to live up to the high expectations of UK Pakistani wives are the members of those clubs, who share their heartfelt stories with each other. Newly migrated husbands suffer the most. I blame parents on both sides, who force these marriages, which end up breaking the bonds.
Junaid Khan Sep 27, 2012 10:58am
kids, its not just pakistan, its something call global issue.
hanifhunzai Sep 28, 2012 10:16am
40 percent correct...
Nadir El-Edroos (@needroos) Sep 27, 2012 10:56am
Hindu Kush Sep 28, 2012 09:14am
Why don't you do that too?
farhan Sep 28, 2012 09:50pm
Agree with your comments...They have the superiority complex and seems others inferior.....and the action is one of a purchased commodity....
KHURAM Sep 28, 2012 09:51pm
Nadeem Sep 28, 2012 07:31am
Recently an incident happened our family in which a student arranged a marriage with British national secretely without even informing his parents in Pakistan. They were busy looking for girl and they had shock of their life when they came to know that he had a married a girl just to make his stay in legal in u.k.
KHURAM Sep 28, 2012 10:13pm
I believe Sarwat has done a good research backed by solid references. This is a dilemma of our nation that we start picking negatives first. Why cannot we simply discourage such people who don't believe in themselves and destroy others lives for their own sake through such short cuts. Islam doesn't allow us to do that. I am from Pakistan and I am living in UK for last five years. I have never tried a short cut...... but still Almighty Allah has blessed me with a high profile job. The job is because of my qualification which I earned after a long struggle. One thing I must mention here that there is a huge difference in Pakistani and foreigner cultures and therefore such marriages are very hard to maintain. Both parties, i.e. young Pakistanis and the parents of the foreigner girls/boys should understand this difference. Finally I appreciate Sarwat for sharing her research at this platform. Well done.
Kash Sep 28, 2012 07:18am
Most Pakistanis who come on student visas to UK and elsewhere have no intention of studying. They try to get job and disappear in the wilderness.
imran Sep 28, 2012 05:12pm
Thanks for writing this brilliant article and opening the mind of thousands innocent Pakistanis settled abroad their lives could have been ruined if this article was not written. In a sentence "highly prejudice article" oops! I shouldn't have thrown my rotten tomatoes in the bin
Hassan Sep 28, 2012 07:07am
Excuse me; Please start acknowledging the truth so that we (people of Pakistan) do something to improve living conditions in our own country; sadly at the moment we better not argue at criticisms since they are based on some facts. We all love Pakistan and Im sure the writer also loves Pakistan. Well written article.
jasmine Sep 28, 2012 06:52am
It is a good message for Pakistanis and Pakistani families, the article serves as a good warning.
Ali Sep 28, 2012 06:42am
Well written article. However, certain things were a little confusing. You have pointed out that financial problems and hard life in host countries motivate men to give in to the option of marrying a local citizen. Well maybe, but maybe not. The article throughout implies that Pakistani men faking marriages is a pre-meditated effort. They come as students only to find 'citizenship'. So I doubt hard life in host countries hardly has any effect (from your arguments). Btw, this is nothing new. It has been happening for very long (though now the numbers might have increased..but then again you should have focused a little more on this increase in number) and it's not only Pakistan. Many of the statistics you were talking about are general statistics that hold for all international citizens. It is also unclear or little evidence has been provided regarding Pakistani men opting for dual marriages (where they have one wife in Pakistan and another abroad - we have heard of it a lot but is there any proof or numbers?).
ALI Sep 28, 2012 05:43am
Well written article, really appreciate this, this need to be circulated widely, to educate Pakistani families in and out side Pakistan. Ms. Hassan - GOOD WORK, keep it up.
ambi Sep 28, 2012 11:47pm
great article, should be taken in positive light. I agree with writer, "Majority of overseas Pakistanis and respectable families in Pakistan cherish this system, adhering to the values and upholding the sacred union." its only the minority case that create a bad image.
Omi Sep 28, 2012 05:45am
An absolutely a disgusting article. Just to make an image of Pakistani as bad as they can. People from all around the world doing this thing !!! but why writers and journalists etc just stick to Pakistanis ??
ayad Sep 29, 2012 12:38am
Am on my way to change my life in other culture and traditions.being pakistani.what pakistan gives us..
Dilber Maseeh Sep 27, 2012 12:02pm
This is happening with majority if the 3rd world countries but just blame Pakistan because we dont look outside the box. Even Indians and Chinese go to the UK/ Australia etc on temperory visas with a desire to settle there permenantly. And there is no harm in doing that as long as they are not snatching anyone's mobile phones or killing people for no reason. Stats in the article are also misleading.
Syed Sep 28, 2012 04:30am
Agree, I am seeing this trend in Australia as well, bless my parents I was educated enough to move on my own (smiling)
Raw is War Sep 28, 2012 04:28am
who will trust pakistanis when these things happen?
kashif Sep 28, 2012 04:19am
Why so much fuss about this. I have seen it for years in the states, it has nothing to do with being Pakistani, everyone who is in a clinch device a way and it is done by All.some are more successful then others. This is just how the cookie crumbles.
Hasin Ahmed Sep 29, 2012 12:43am
This trend has been a part of modern social behaviour. I am sorry that Ms. Hasan had to travel to Australia to discover it.
Capt C M Khan Sep 27, 2012 10:38am
When I migrated to Namibia fifteen years ago there were only three Pakistanis. Today there are over 250 and still coming , most of them have wives and children in Pakistan and had to marry African ladies just to get stay in country. Nearly all of them sell cellphones, despite not making big money they are happy here, they go home to thier children and Pakistani wives maybe once in two years. Good and correct article.
yellowenergy Sep 29, 2012 12:55am
Survival is the first natural instinct of any human being. It is with grave sadness that one must accept that these second marriages outside Pakistan are driven by desperate (in all sense of the word) conditions at home, so much so that many men, and women alike, feel that their mere survival is dependent on escaping from their country. Until something is not done to rectify the socio-political-economic conditions at home these cases of marriages abroad will become even more rampant. And perhaps understandably/ rightfully so.
Shah Sep 27, 2012 10:38am
For me atleast this is very good news: "According to a British Higher Education Statistics Agency report, Pakistan accounts for 54 per cent of UK
yellowenergy Sep 29, 2012 01:03am
It is with grave sadness that one must accept how deeply the sociological-political-economic problems rampant in Pakistan affect the men and women alike, that it drives them to see a love-less marriage as an escape route from their very own country. As the times get more desperate (read: occurrences like the most recent useless killings for a seemingly senseless reason happen more often) many more Pakistani citizens will undoubtedly adopt this escape route. Can they really be blamed? After all survival is any human's basic instinct, then why are we judging our own for succumbing to human nature?
kashif Sep 28, 2012 03:52am
Why so much fuss about this. I have seen it all over the years here in the states, everyone who is stuck will device a way or another , some are more successful then others, It has nothing to do with being Pakistani, that's how the cookie crumbles.....
H l Sep 28, 2012 03:45am
So if all of the world is doing it, it must be a right thing. Right?
Syed Danish Iqbal Sep 28, 2012 03:46am
I agreed in some extent but it doesn't mean you will build your relation on lie because from this lie you will get some satisfaction for the time being not forever.
anony Sep 28, 2012 03:20am
In the US, I can be 100% certain that indian students outnumber Pakistani students by atleast 50-1. The next in line are the chinese.
anony Sep 28, 2012 03:17am
Ive been in the US for over 10 years now, and have had many indian friends who have done the same - a shortcut to citizenship or green card.
B. Ally Sep 28, 2012 02:52am
Marriage is a sacred relationship though contractual. It should never be subjected to any sort of exploitation by any partner if one values happiness and honesty.
Hasan Chand Sep 29, 2012 04:47am
If he is poor and desperate he must have married her for her money/resources. Many untrained and under-educated Pakistanis end up in such situations only due to lack of proper guidance and training in their homes. Parents need to wake up, not only ensure proper education but also train them in Deen, culture and positive approach to life. Being innocent is also not common amongst young men as well as older ones as we see within our country --- all due lack of proper training by parents.
peace lover Sep 28, 2012 02:29pm
well just for correction, Pakistani girls abroad are not at all innocent and naive. They treat Pakistan imported men with the tip of their shoe.. its poor, unemployed and desperate husband who lives like a slave hoping a brighter futur.
deepak Sep 28, 2012 01:57am
don't understand psych of pakistanis....on one hand they are so against all these western countries...on the other hand they will do anything to migrate to these countries...
shakeel ahmad Sep 28, 2012 12:58am
The writer should look in the history of pakistani migrants since 1960. All migrants who came to west and middle east transformed there own and families financial status to a level they could no achieve while living in pakistan.Any way the history of colonial powers is what they did in the past was not fair to red indians,aboriginies asians so what if few pakistanis distraughted from pakistans current situation try means which are not fair to some.These guys work very hard while studying abroad but have no future in pakistan or here to stay.So if they expliote situations to get permanent stay i think it is a fair game.Look at all the corrupt pakistani politicians can rob over country and get british or other nationalitis,these people are giving pakistan bad names abroad not these pakistani students
Manomoni Sep 29, 2012 03:21am
It is paining..Jinnah fought valiantly and carved out a country for muslim majority to live happily with their traditions and culture..But sons and daughters of Pakistan desperate to escape to christian countries by nook or crook.. Was it the vision of Jinnah?
Omar Sep 28, 2012 12:37am
This is a very one-sided article ... I personally do not fall (at least so far) in any of the categories above, but I speak from numerous examples of friends and acquaintances during past 11 years in USA/Canada/France. While some of these claims are legit but there equal number of counter-claims: 1. Foreign born/raised Pakistani men/women, in age of marriage, exploit Pakistanis, in age of marriage, to escape the clenches of their conservative families. 2. Pakistani families living abroad, not so innocent and fearful of the Pakistani men's and women's "ill-intentions", save their sons and daughters from these fears till late 20s or early 30s and then rush to look back into Pakistan, willing to crack a deal with anything with a pulse. 3. 406 in one years is a fraction of the 50K plus Pakistani (legal and illegal) inhabitants in Australia, so not significant enough to be a social issue ... This is a trending issue between developed and developing nations world-wide and not only limited to Pakistan. Perhaps it is sore point for the author. On a pure human level, lots of sympathy. On a professional level, more objectivity please.
Annu Sep 29, 2012 03:23am
I have heard Gujarati community from India have it as very common practice. Best way to bring your family member, all it takes few years of commitment. It is a Business. Sad but true.
Annu Sep 29, 2012 03:27am
Oh stop it, to portray man like that. Trust me I have heard several stories where the man bounce once he got a green card and marry his girl friend from India or Pakistan. Usually women modern or conservative are very loyal for various reason one being there are more female than male. I'm sure there maybe one or two examples where woman has an upper hand, but who cares, they give birth they should have some power over their men. I'm a Man and I don't mind my wife telling me what to do sometime.
BNS Sep 28, 2012 12:12am
Very informative article for families/individuals seeking cross border marriages. Please try to write something similar in Urdu newspapers as well as they have a much bigger readership.
Muhib Sep 28, 2012 12:10am
"A time where Pakistan already faces political, economic and social challenges domestically and in the international arena, the country cannot afford individuals to further damage its image." hahaha.... who cares for country's image. Such men and women want green card or any card outside pakistan. Even zardari (superpower in pakistan) has a british card.
jimmy Sep 28, 2012 12:02am
@Agha Ata (USA): Are you dreaming ? number of indians setttled in USA and gone up to 3 miilion !! we are the 3rd highest after filipino and chinese immigrants ... even if indians go back home , they still have american PR or passports with him..which means anytime in future if they want to go back they can go back... plus being a US citizens gives u 50 times more cheaper education, health and more freedom ! sorry i find these types of people hypocrites... sorry to break yur bubble but USA gives more freedom to indians compared to India...
roquefort Sep 27, 2012 11:59pm
Yes but the other countries do not show so much hatred for western countries,Pakistani streets r always fuelled with anti west chants but deep down they would do anything to settle down in a western society.
abdul Syed Sep 27, 2012 11:13pm
wow I wish I wish I was so lucky like indians to resettle in my homeland pakistan, but it is soooooooooo sad what happened to our beloved country.
Shamim Sep 29, 2012 04:24am
I agree with you 100%. Marriages for securing permanent status in USA is not limited to Pakistanis ONLY. East Europeans, French, Spaniards, south/ central Americans, Israelis, Arabs countries, Russians has been happening for decades and still happening.
Malik - AUS Sep 29, 2012 04:26am
girls treating them what they deserve, if you are so egoist... stay back home, u come abroad but still do not behave as civilised men and want to treat girls like you are living in Tando Adam or Ghotki... if you are coming abroad that too on girl support, behave like a civilised person....Sarwat raised very good point, this is story of many Paki's girls suffering at the Paki men hands, they are already married abroad to take passport.... Paki mens want to make shortcuts in life but dont understand why to suffer life of another Paki girl back home.... taking immigration is no reason to marry abroad, be inteligent enough to justify yourself worth deserving immigrant. there is system in process in western countries for immigration, it can be achieved with professional studies with good results, but this seems difficult for the young Pak men instead they are making these shortcus and spoiling girls life and bringing disgrace to country as well. Such looser mens have no value to family life and no respect towards Paki Girls, such men should stay back home instead..
Nadir El-Edroos (@needroos) Sep 27, 2012 10:58pm
I am sure its 5.4% actually, probably a typo
Ahsan rizvi Sep 27, 2012 04:34pm
this figure is exaggerated and it needs to e corrected otherwise the rest of the things are almost certain. I work for a law firm in London and we come across number of cases like this where the person in order to get a permanent stay marry a person with whom he or she has got no compatibility and deception is commonly used as a mean to acquire a immigration status.