A Pakistani father-of-35 has begun his quest for wife number four in order to achieve his life goal of having 100 children. Sardar Jan Mohammad Khilji, 46, from Quetta, Balochistan, says he believes it is his religious duty to have as many children as possible.
The medical technician claims his three wives all support his decision to bring a fourth woman into their marriage – but you have to take his word for it as he would not let them comment on the matter. Proudly showing off his two latest additions to the brood – two baby girls born withing a week of each other – he insists it is ‘very rare’ that he mixes up his children’s names.
Khilji said he juggles the affections of his 35 children – who are all under the age of 15 – by taking turns to attend family events with them and their mothers, such as weddings. His three current wives support his procreational and matrimonial goals, he said, adding that they all live in harmony together.
However, none of his wives could confirm this, as he would not allow a visiting reporter to speak to any of them. Rights activists warn it is women and children who suffer most in polygamous marriages.
Pakistani men are permitted to take up to four wives under Islam, though to do so they must seek permission from their first wife and an arbitration council. It remains rare for men to take multiple wives in the country, but when polygamy does take place, studies have shown it can result in ‘depression and despair’ among wives, while children often struggle to know their father, said Rafia Zakaria, a women’s rights activist.
Ms Zakaria said that the Koran dictates that multiple wives may be taken only when a husband can do ‘perfect justice’ among them.
‘Well, perfect justice is impossible, and for this reason polygamy is never a good situation. Someone always suffers and almost always it is the women and children,’ she added.