Pakistan's first gay marriage prompts tribal death threats
(Updated at 2025 PST)
PESHAWAR: Pakistani tribesmen have threatened to kill a gay couple who got married in a traditional ceremony, the first in the Islamic country, witnesses and a report said on Wednesday.
A 42-year-old Afghan refugee tied the knot with a local tribesman of 16 in snow-covered Tirah Valley, part of the remote Khyber tribal region which borders Afghanistan, they said.
Gay marriages are unheard of in Pakistan, where sodomy is legally punishable by death, but the tribal regions where security forces have recently been fighting Islamic militants are governed by
their own laws.
"I witnessed the marriage in Tirah Valley three days ago," tribal elder Millat Khan told a foreign news agency by telephone. "When I came to know that it was a gay marriage I left the party without taking food."
A local Urdu-language newspaper said the elder man, named as Liaquat Ali, had fallen in love with a local boy called Markeen, "who is now his male bride".
It said that the boy's parents were poor and agreed giving their son's hand in marriage for 40,000 rupees (about 667 dollars). :yuk:
"The marriage was held amid usual pomp and show associated with a tribal wedding," it said.
A tribal assembly, or jirga, in the remote area told the newlyweds on Wednesday to leave the area immediately or face death for "breaking all the religious and tribal values and ethics",
according to Khan.
Malik Waris Khan, a prominent local politician and former federal minister, also confirmed the marriage had taken place. "I checked the report with people in Tirah Valley and they confirmed
it," he told a foreign news agency.
Khyber faces Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains, where US-led and Afghan forces are thought to have briefly trapped Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in late 2001 before he managed to escape.