SADIQABAD: Yet another innocent child fell victim to the barbaric practice of ‘vani’ when a jirga decided to marry off an eight-year-old girl to a 28-year-old man in Sadiqabad, Rahim Yar Khan.
The decision was taken to ‘punish’ the girl’s paternal uncle, who chose to go for love marriage, thus angering the elders of the family. The jirga, as a result, decided to compensate for the man’s ‘crime’ by declaring the practice of vani for the girl. The jirga also ordered the girl’s father to pay Rs800,000.
The 28-year-old man, with whom the girl’s marriage has been decided, is the brother of the woman who married the girl’s uncle.
While the other party is pushing for marriage, the eight-year-old’s parents are pleading for help as they do not want to abide by the cruel tradition.
“We do not want to give away our daughter [to him],” the aggrieved mother told.
The father lamented he cannot afford to pay Rs800,000. The girl, meanwhile, could be seen crying and pleading as she insisted she wants to study and not get married.
Moreover, the girl’s cousins were also behind bars till this report was filed. The police arrested them over the complaint of the woman’s family, whom the girl’s uncle married and eloped with.
Although child marriage is punishable under the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, giving young girls in marriage under the ugly tradition of vani is a common practice in Pakistan. Under this tradition, women are traded between families to resolve disputes.
Unlike common wedding events, the ceremonies held under vani are devoid of the celebrations.
CM Punjab takes notice
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of the case.
He as ordered the district police officer to send him a report on the case.
Moreover, action has also been ordered against members of the jirga that made the decision of vani.