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Norwegian embassy to hold seminar on forced marriages

GUJRAT: The Norwegian embassy, in collaboration with the Pakistan embassy in Oslo, will organise an awareness seminar on forced marriages and other women issues.

The seminar, to be held in Kharian and Oslo simultaneously, will have participants the Norwegians of Pakistani origin and their close families in Kharian, through a video link. The date of the seminar has not been fixed yet.

A delegation, led by the Norwegian ambassador Tore Nedrebo, the social attaché Silje Kotte, advisor Nina Karstenten, called on Gujrat Deputy Commissioner Irfan Ali Kathia on Thursday.

A participant in the meeting said that as per the plan, three speakers each would deliver the lectures from Oslo and Kharian and participants on both sides would be able to listen to them.

The official sources said the Pakistanis settled in Norway and other European countries were often found involved in forced marriage cases. Apart from the issue of forced marriages, other matters like custody and care of the children, especially of estranged couples, rights of women and other such related matters would also be discussed in the seminar.

District Monitoring Officer (DMO) Waqar Khan and Kharian Assistant Commissioner Zulfiqar Ali Bagari were also present in the meeting.

The Gujrat deputy commissioner has appointed the DMO and Kharian AC as coordinators for making arrangements for the proposed seminar.

The deputy commissioner also hosted a lunch in honour of the delegation at the Gujrat Gymkhana Club.

About 40,000 Pakistanis are currently residing in various cities of Norway and around 30,000 of them belong to Gujrat district, particularly from Kharian tehsil, that’s why the Norwegian embassy is keen on holding the seminar there.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2017