Arranged marriage may be annulled

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN'S two-year battle to have her arranged marriage annulled seemed close to victory yesterday when her husband agreed she was under age at the time of their wedding.

Nasreen Akmal, 24, has been isolated from her Muslim community in Glasgow since she started proceedings to annul the marriage to her husband, Mohammed, 30, from whom she is separated.

He has always insisted she was 17 when they were married, but that changed yesterday when he said he now accepted she had been under age, although he had been unaware of it at the time.

The marriage was arranged by Mrs Akmal's father, who took her from Britain to her native Pakistan in 1983, claiming she was 17.

Mrs Akmal, who has three children by her husband, says she was 14 at the time, and claims she thought she was going to Pakistan for a holiday. She says she has never considered herself married.

Mrs Akmal, who was brought to Britain as a baby, lodged a writ at the Court of Session in Glasgow in October 1990, asking for the record of her marriage to be wiped. Afterwards, the Muslim community started avoiding her, and she was spat at in the street.

Since then, the case has been in deadlock over the issue of her age. Mr Akmal's lawyers said she had signed the marriage certificate, which indicated that she was 17.

A hearing is due to take place at the Court of Session in Edinburgh next Thursday.

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