Norwegian men have second wife in Pakistan

embassy Islamabad Polygamy PolygynyPakistan. Norwegian embassy in Islamabad. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

Embassy sounds the alarm: Norwegian men have second wife in Pakistan

Several Norwegian men of Pakistani origin have a wife in Norway and a clandestine wife in Pakistan, according to the Norwegian embassy in Islamabad.


The children of the wife in Pakistan are entitled to Norwegian passports and citizenship, the Norwegian Embassy in Pakistan writes in a memorandum that NRK has been granted access to.

Polygyny is legal under Islamic law in Pakistan as opposed to in Norway.

The memorandum, composed by five employees at the Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad, says nothing about the scope, but the Embassy calls for clearer rules.

They report that problems arise when the children of the Norwegian Pakistani male with wife number two (or more)  in Pakistan are assigned a Norwegian social security number. Wife number two is most often ignorant of the fact that she must stay behind in Pakistan if the children gets a stay in Norway.

Parliamentarian and deputy leader for the Liberals, Abid Raja, has read parts of the memo from the Norwegian embassy and calls it a serious breach of trust.

– We can not sit on our thumbs and allow Norwegian Pakistani men to exploit women both in Pakistan and Norway in this way. Both women are trapped by this, says Raja.

He informs that he wants an overview of Polygyny cases in Norway stemming from Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Somalia.

The Norwegian embassy in Pakistan concludes the memorandum by writing that cases of polygamy ought to be prosecuted in Norway.

Polygyny in Islam (Wikipedia)

Under Islamic marital jurisprudence, Muslim men are allowed to practice polygyny, that is, they can have more than one wife at the same time, up to a total of four. Polyandry, the practice of a woman having more than one husband, by contrast, is not permitted.

Polygyny for Muslims, in practice and in law, differs greatly throughout the Islamic world. In some Muslim countries, polygyny is relatively common, while in others, it is rare or non-existent. Azerbaijan, Tunisia and Turkey, for example, are predominantly Muslim countries that have not adopted Islamic law for marital regulations, where polygyny is not legal.


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