The look is not confined to Pakistan, of course. It is still common in isolated areas of Kentucky and Louisiana, and until the 20th century could be seen in parts of North Norfolk and Wales. It is, of course, the common result of a prevalence of first-cousin marriages, and particularly of parallel cousin marriages (son to brother's daughter) that produces the highest volume not only of serious birth defects but significantly increased rates of imbecilism and feeble-mindedness. This is the most common marriage relationship amongst Pakistanis.
Back in February 2008 Labour Minister Phil Woolas shocked his constituents by mentioning this 'elephant in the room' - he was moved by the large number of hideously deformed babies he'd seen who were the result of such relationships. In August 2010 Channel 4 screened a documentary entitled 'When Cousins Marry' that further exposed the dangers of "Preferential patrilateral parallel cousin marriage". A comment at the time on the programme's website was
As a Teacher of children with severe special needs, working predominantly within the asian community, I am very pleased to see this issue being publicly raised. Along with the distress the child may suffer throughout it's life as the result of a first cousin marriages, society has a huge financial burden to bare in providing the necessary support. These include a huge range of medical interventions, paediatric care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, specialist teaching support, respite care, transportation, building adaptations etc, etc etc.If deviant sexual behaviour amongst the retarded but otherwise functioning young men from such relationships is now costing us to maintain some 250 of them in prison for the next fifteen years or so it may just be a cost too far. Should we now give serious consideration to banning such relationships in the UK, as many parts of the US has done, to lessen the incidence of these benighted imbeciles in our society?