Woman who married at age 14 wins annulment

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A YOUNG woman made Scottish legal history yesterday when a judge ruled that her arranged marriage in Pakistan when she was 14 was not legal.

Nasreen Akmal, 24, was granted an annulment at the Court of Session in Edinburgh of her marriage to Mohammed Akmal, who did not defend the case.

The couple were married in April 1983 after she was taken to Pakistan from Glasgow for a holiday by her father. He immediately began arranging a wedding.

Ms Akmal, who was born in Pakistan while her mother was on holiday and came to live in Glasgow when she was six months old, told the court: 'The first I knew about it was when I was measured for my dress.'

She said she went through with the marriage but told the court: 'I did not say 'yes' to the priest when he asked me.'

The couple eventually returned to Scotland and had three children - Rizwan, seven, Aneesa, three, and Imran, two. The children live with their mother in a two-bedroom council flat in Glasgow.

Lord Coulsfield declared the marriage null and void under Scots Law, which states a bride must be aged 16 and over.

Afterwards Ms Akmal, a student, of St Vincent Terrace, Glasgow, said she was an outsider in the city's Asian community. 'I get spat at and some shopkeepers do not serve me. But I am very happy with today.'