Wani tradition: 5-year-old given in ‘marriage’ to 40-year-old

Published: October 7, 2011

" We have decided the issue in accordance with our traditions. The impression that the verdict is unfair to the child is wrong Panchayat.


A five-year-old girl has been given in marriage to a 40-year-old man as ‘punishment’ for her father’s elopement with that man’s sister.

Habiba Bibi*, a resident of Chak 178 EB, told The Express Tribune that her daughter was taken away from her and handed over to Anwar Ali* following a panchayat held at the latter’s residence three days ago.

Habiba said the panchayat also imposed a Rs400,000 fine on her. She said a hundred thousand she had saved was snatched from her with a warning that she would be expelled from the village in case she failed to pay the remaining amount. A district and sessions judge has summoned Vehari district police officer for October 8 in a complaint Habiba filed on Wednesday.

Habiba said she had decided to approach the court after she lost all hope of getting her daughter back. “My husband married Ali’s sister and ran away with her. He may be penalised for it. I wouldn’t let my daughter pay for his actions,” she said.

She said her husband had been seeing Ali’s sister for over a year and some four months ago they disappeared. She said she had several quarrels with him over the issue.

The panchayat that declared Sakina’s sister vani consisted of influential landlords from Meetla, Toba Tek Singh, Cheechawatni and Dunyapur.

Talking to The Express Tribune, some of the panchayat members said they had decided the issue in accordance with their traditions. They rejected the suggestion that the verdict was unfair to the child.

Ali said he was satisfied with the panchayat decision. “Justice has been done. He took my sister. It’s only fair that I get a woman from his family in return,” he said.

A Revenue Department employee at the village, said he had tried to intervene and stop the panchayat from declaring the child wani but no one listened to him.

DPO Nasir Rizvi was not available for comment.

Some residents of the village said the panchayat had been biased.

“They stayed at Ali’s dera and also organised the panchayat over there. What else could one expect from them?” said a villager.

*Names have been changed to protect identity

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Javad
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:33PM

    All members of the panchayat who encouraged this wani-tradition should be punished including the 40 year old pervert!


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:48PM

    A five-year-old girl has been given in
    marriage to a 40-year-old man

    Such incidents have precedence in Islamic history. So, why is it wrong now?


  • Oct 7, 2011 - 3:34PM

    islam give this choice to women not the panchayat


  • Arifa Batool
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:14PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk

    Please enlighten us when in ‘Islamic’ history, a five-year-old girl has been given in
    marriage to a 40-year-old man or any such incident happened? when did in Islam, a minor child was given into the marriage?


  • Uzair
    Oct 7, 2011 - 4:25PM

    We hardly see historical examples from Islam of “choice” being given to females, either as child brides or as adults.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Oct 7, 2011 - 5:05PM

    @Arifa Batool:

    when did in Islam, a minor child was
    given into the marriage?

    Sir, I can answer that question, but, it would be blasphemous (inspite of being true) and probably deleted by our honorable mods.Recommend

  • John B
    Oct 7, 2011 - 6:01PM

    And even after this reporting, the police have not rescued the child?

    I am sure there are still decent minded police out there in Pakistan.


  • Oct 7, 2011 - 6:40PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    Where ignorance is a bliss it is foolish to be wise. Yuri, you seem to have read a book
    or two of history. You belong to a threatened species.


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