No child abuse or human rights abuses here. Nothing to see, move along, infidel!
2 girls fall prey to ‘vani’ in Abbottabad
Saturday, February 07, 2009
by Usman Manzoor
ISLAMABAD: A case of ‘vani’ has been discovered in a village of Abbottabad district, where two minor girls, whose uncle had married a girl of his choice, have been given in marriage to men of the family of that girl.
Five-year-old Haleema Bibi and eight-year-old Ayesha have been given in marriage to 23-year-old Arshad and 15-year-old Hamayun of the opponent family by a jirga of elders of the area because uncle of the minor girls had contracted court marriage with a girl of opponent family some six months back.
Uncle of the victim girls, Muhammad Sabir, while talking to The News said that six months ago one Sajjad and Abida of Biran, a village in Abbottabad tehsil, had solemnised court marriage and had settled in Karachi since then. He said a jirga of elders of the village arranged a sitting on January 19 and ordered to give two nieces of Sajjad in marriage to the two men of Abida’s family.
“There were around 100 people in the jirga while the father of the minor girls, Muhammad Yousaf, was alone and the two girls were forcibly married to the men of the rival family,” said Sabir.
He said that Khateeb-e-Azam of Abbottabad Maulana Abdul Wajid took the matter seriously and summoned the cleric who had administered the Nikah of the minor girls on the orders of the jirga.
When this correspondent contacted Maulana Abdul Wajid, he said that the case could not be termed as ‘vani’ because the girls were not sent with the men to whom they were married. He said though the minor girls were forcibly married by a jirga, he himself had contacted the people at the district level and the decision of the jirga would be reversed today (Saturday). He said the other family had agreed to submit the written divorces.
The Maulana said the issue must not be highlighted in media at national level as the decision was going to be reversed within a week. To a question, he said the jirga reached the unfortunate decision just to address the grievances of Abida’s family.
Muhammad Farooq, one of the participants of the jirga, confessed that such an incident had occurred but later it was settled between the two families. He said the two girls were given in Nikah by the jirga to the family of a girl who married the boy of her choice against the wishes of her family. He said that the girls belong to the family of Sajjad who had married the girl in court some six months ago. “Everything was done according to the customs and traditions of the village and later the decision was reversed when the aggrieved family went to the home of Muhammad Yousaf, father of the minor girls,” Farooq said while defending the decision of the jirga. “The matter has been settled and there is nothing in it now,” he added.
Meanwhile, Progressive Women Association President Shahnaz Bukhari strongly condemned the incident and demanded of the government to initiate inquiry against the jirga members. In a telephonic chat with The News, she claimed the Khateeb-e-Azam of Abbottabad, while talking to her, admitted the happening.
Right, there is nothing in it now. It’s not like they tried to peddle off CHILDREN into forced marriage or anything…
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