In a 2019 survey, 2 out of 5 Pakistanis surveyed believed that in-laws are responsible for most of divorce cases
According to a 2019 survey carried out by Gallup & Gilani Pakistan, as many as 58% of Pakistanis at the time believed that divorce rates in Pakistan have increased in the country.
The survey found that 2 in 5 of the respondents believed that a couple's in-laws were responsible for most of these cases.
Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 is only likely to have complicated matters further.
The increased incidence of depression and anxiety among people due to social isolation, working from home and not being allowed physical freedoms have been widely reported.
On top of that, many couples who live in joint families have experienced privacy issues. With no room to maintain some healthy distance from family members, there have been many cases of domestic violence and a significant number of cases of intimate partner violence.
According to police reports, in the first quarter of 2020 alone, 3,800 divorce cases were filed in Karachi.
More recently, between January to November 2021, the District Judiciary of Rawalpindi reported 10,312 cases concerning divorce, khula, guardianship and maintenance. Another 13,000 more cases were found awaiting adjudication in family courts in the same district.
Criminal and family lawyer Advocate Hamid Rashid Gondal reveals that divorce cases in rural regions of Pakistan have especially escalated.
He says the higher incidence of divorce cases is mainly because forced marriages in the pressure of so-called 'family honour' are still significantly high, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused such marriages to fall apart at increased rates.
Read on more about divorce rate in Pakistani culture on The Talk.