MULTAN (Pakistan) - A 23-YEAR-OLD Pakistani man plans to marry two women in 24 hours, gaining national attention for his novel solution to a dilemma over wedding the woman he loves or going ahead with the marriage his family arranged.

Pakistani law allows polygamy based on the concept that Islam, the main religion in the country, allows up to four wives. But men who take multiple wives usually do so years apart and must get approval from their first wife prior to a second marriage.

Azhar Haidri initially refused to marry 28-year-old Humaira Qasim - the woman to whom he has been engaged since childhood - because he wanted to marry the woman with whom he had fallen in love, 21-year-old Rumana Aslam.

But the decision threatened to split his family apart since arranged marriages are often customary in Pakistan. 'I gave this offer that I will marry both of them,' Mr Haidri told The Associated Press ahead of his first marriage to Qasim on Sunday in the central Pakistani city of Multan. 'Both the girls agreed.' He is scheduled to marry Ms Aslam on Monday.

Several Pakistani television stations plan to carry the nuptials live given the unique circumstances.

For their part, both woman say they think the compromise is a good one and they plan to live as sisters and friends. 'I am happy that we both love the same man,' Ms Aslam said.

Man to wed 2 brides in 2 days