Jirga’s verdict: Another teenage girl may fall victim to swara

Published: September 8, 2012

Intimidated by the decision, Sadia* wants an out. PHOTO: FAZAL KHALIQ/ EXPRESS

SWAT: 

A 13-year-old girl will be married off to an old man to atone for her brother’s mistake, a jirga decided here on Friday. Her brother was charged with having an extra-marital relationship with a woman.

“They want me to get married to pay for my brother’s fault, but I don’t want to marry that man. I’d rather commit suicide than get married in this way,” she told The Express Tribune before bursting into tears.

Swara is a custom in the Pashtun belt where girls are forcibly married to men of rival families to settle feuds.

Sadia is not the only one upset about the jirga’s decision. Her second brother, Faheem*, said, “Our neighbours accused my elder brother of having illicit relations with a woman. He confessed and married her in court. But now her influential family and the jirga are bent on getting my sister married, which isn’t fair.”

He has sought the government’s assistance in the matter.

A representative of the jirga said that the family can either agree to the marriage or pay a compensation of Rs253,000 to the aggrieved family. Otherwise they will imprison all of them.

Attaullah Jan, a local lawyer, said marrying a girl against her will is illegal, according to the family laws of Pakistan. He called upon human rights’ organisations to intervene if the government fails to do anything.

District Coordination Officer Swat Kamran Rehman said that he had directed the district police officer and the district officer revenue to initiate an inquiry into the case. He added that action will be taken against the culprits if they are found guilty.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • MUHAMMAD OMAR
    Sep 8, 2012 - 11:59AM

    Police and masses are sleeping ??

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  • Imran Con
    Sep 8, 2012 - 12:04PM

    How civilized. In most countries the guy would end up being jailed for being a pedophile.

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  • gp65
    Sep 8, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Swat is in setled area is it not? How then can a minor be married off like this? Why no calls for enforcing sovereignty in cases like this?

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  • unbeliever
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:18PM

    @gp65:

    SETTLED AREA; what does it mean?Recommend

  • unbeliever
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:22PM

    @gp65:

    SETTLED AREA; what does it mean?

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  • IceSoul
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:26PM

    Forget Waziristan; the Pak government has no writ anywhere in the country. But anyways, I can’t see why people are complaining. After all, this jirga system is exactly what our hero Taliban Khan and all ghairat mand Muslims want.

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  • Zyad
    Sep 8, 2012 - 2:35PM

    police were the part of the jirga and the meeting of the Jirga was conducted in Manglawar Police station

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  • RS
    Sep 8, 2012 - 10:10PM

    @Zyad
    Do not worry in the (ex-State of Bahawalpur) n city of Rahimyarkhan Police is JI n JI is Police

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  • riders
    Sep 10, 2012 - 5:42PM

    This is discusting. where is our chief justice. where is our police. all ppl croupt..is this islam say.. is this is a jirga.. khud ilm hai nai r kisi ka faisla karna chala hein waah… government should take a action.instead of this girl if they have own. what will they haan!!!! Huh

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