A young man identified as Mujtaba was asked to pay a fine of Rs100,000 and give two of his sisters as compensation by a jirga held in the Haji Hassan Ali Leghari village, Ghotki.
On Tuesday, Qadir Bux Leghari and Mehmood Leghari led a jirga to resolve the dispute between two groups of the Leghari tribe. The jirga was attended by many men from the tribe, including Mujtaba, his father Hajan Leghari and Mevo Leghari.
After listening to both sides of the argument, Qadir Bux Leghari and Mehmood decided that Mujtaba was a karo and had to pay Rs100,000. They added that the karo would have to hand over 12-year-old Saira and nine-year-old Samina to Mevo. The girls were supposed to get married to Mevo’s sons Khalil and Shakeel. After paying off half of the fine, Mujtaba said that he would not exchange his sisters in order to resolve the dispute.
According to sources, Mujtaba’s refusal made the jirga and tribal elders angry and they had him beaten. They threatened that he must abide by the verdict or be prepared to face the consequences. They claim that since Mujtaba defied the decisions made by the jirga, a group of men broke into his house and tried to abduct his sisters. Although they were unable to kidnap the girls, the men threw the family out of their house and took over their property.
Hajan and Mujtaba went to the police to file a complaint but they refused. While talking to the media, Hajan said that Mevo was his brother and coveted his property. He added that Mevo had falsely accused Mujtaba of karo kari. Nearly one and a half year ago, Mevo accused Mujtaba of having an affair with his widowed daughter-in-law. As the relationship between the families became bitter, Mevo forced Hajan to resolve the issue through a jirga.
The head constable of the Khenjoo police station, Faizullah Kosh told The Express Tribune that he did not know anything about the jirga or the verdict. He said that many people were organising jirga and bartering girls because these issues were picked up by the media. He added that he would carry out an investigation to find out what really happened.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.