Friday, 7 August 2009

Mehsud's Divorce, Pakistan Family Law and Pashtun Tribal Codes

A reader has pointed out that Baitullah Mehsud could have solved his marital problems by just saying, 'I divorce you' to his wife three times. A conservative interpretation of Islamic law will recognize such a pronouncement as a legally valid divorce.

Final dissolution of Marriage paperwork

Traditional Muslim procedures for divorce have been variously modified in most Islamic states

(Feminist readers may note that such a simple divorce is not recognized under Pakistan law as a result of the Family Laws Ordinance of 1961. Secularists may note that under Singapore's Administration of Muslim Law Act of 1966 family laws, including marriage, divorce and inheritance, for Singaporean Muslims are conducted in accordance with an interpretation of Islamic law.)

Given Mehsud's propensity to kill Pakistani law enforcers I doubt the legal considerations are of any concern to him. He may, however, be sensitive to the implications of divorcing his wife on other members of her tribal clan. In conservative Pashtun society, marriage is one way of cementing relationships between different tribes and clans. Divorce is seen as an affront to the girl's family and by extension to her tribe, unless there is a legitimate reason (e.g. she took off her veil in front of a stranger!).

The Pakistan government's concerted attempts to dismantle Mehsud's terror network dictates that he broadens his support among tribes of the Waziristan region. He has seen off earlier challenges to his leadership of the Mehsud tribe through a combination of assassination and intimidation.

If it is confirmed that Mehsud is dead then we can say goodbye to the USD five million bounty on his head!

Chimp Of Police

Until now, law enforcement agencies have had little success in detecting or locating Mehsud (or Bin Laden)

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