‘No law to stop sale, purchase of women for marriage’

Published: March 23, 2012

Only three institutions Darul Amaan, Kashana and Darul Islah provided shelter to women for up to one year.

LAHORE: 

There is no law in Pakistan stopping the sale and purchase of women for the purpose of marriage, a Punjab government representative told the Lahore High Court on Thursday.

Assistant Advocate General Rabiyya Bajwa, appearing in connection with the case of a girl who was twice sold into marriage, said it was a tradition in some parts of the country for the girl’s family to demand money from the groom’s family, but there was no law against it.

Abdul Majeed, a resident of Narowal, had contracted marriage with S after paying her family in Charsada Rs100,000.

He later divorced her and sold her to Naziran Bibi for Rs125,000. Majeed later filed a writ petition in the LHC for the recovery of the girl, stating that Naziran wanted the girl married to her nephew Javed.

At an earlier hearing, the Narowal district police officer produced the girl in the court and said he had registered a case against Majeed and Naziran under Sections 371 A and 371 B of the Pakistan Penal Code, for the sale and purchase of a girl for the purpose of prostitution.

However, AAG Bajwa, assisting the court, said that these sections did not apply in the case as the DPO had already stated that Nazrian had purchased the girl for the purpose of marriage and not for prostitution.

She said that there were 16 public institutions working for the welfare of children and women, but none of them provided permanent protection and residence to women.

She said that only three institutions Darul Amaan, Kashana and Darul Islah provided shelter to women for up to one year.

She said that a 10-member advisory committee of the Darul Amaan arranged for the marriage of destitute girls after consulting with them.

The judge adjourned the hearing till March 26 and summoned the girl from the Darul Amaan.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Aaron Upright
    Mar 23, 2012 - 12:32PM

    With due respect to the AAG,what she is stating is clearly incorrect.

    Pakistan Penal Code
    365B. Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel for marriage etc.-
    Whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced, or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, and shall also he liable to fine; and whoever by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this Code, or of abuse of authority or any other method of compulsion, induces any woman to go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid.

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  • Usman Sherazi
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:50PM

    Horyfying, to say the least. Thanks to ET for highlighting the matter.
    Selling the women for ¨marriage¨is a pretty common practice in the poverty stricken tribal areas especially. What happens to most of the poor girls later is anybody´s guess.
    This case is yet another example of the horror being endured by this poor lady and others like her. One seriously hopes some institution steps up to take up her cause and extends her the support that she needs.

    These are the kind of social issues that need the immediate attention of our law-makers. But only if they could find time from the unending plunder.

    As a country that calls its an Islamic republic and a nation that prides itself for being muslims and is willing to slit throats on the name of religion, there is no bigger shame than leaving its women and children vulnerable to absue.

    As someone who frequently travels across the globe, I have hardly come across a nation with such shallowness and high perception of superiority, despite having an unending list of problems and social evils apart from crises like corruption, law & order and religious intolerance.

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  • Amjad
    Mar 23, 2012 - 3:24PM

    @Usman Sherazi: Perhaps you don’t know what goes on in other Muslim countries where rulers routinely slaughter their own people as in Libya, Syria, Yemen or Bahrain. At least in Pakistan, steps are being taken to stop inhumane practices which persist due to poverty and ignorance. We should welcome this decision rather than pander to state bashing for no reason. It’s easy to complain but harder yet to work to make things better. I travel all over the world too and one of the reasons Pakistanis have a better image than Arabs, Iranians or Central Asians is because we represent a Muslim country which is trying to improve the dignity of our citizens.

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  • kaalchakra
    Mar 24, 2012 - 3:32AM

    Islam does not permit this. So don’t make false allegations. How can ET print publish such baseless propaganda?

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