SWAT: A local court on Thursday rejected bail petitions of an inspector and 11 members of a jirga that ordered for a 13-year-old girl to be married to an old man to settle a family feud. A civil judge rejected the bail petitions after hearing the arguments of the lawyer of the accused men. The men were arrested on the orders of the deputy inspector general of police of Malakand Division. A committee had also been formed to recorded statements of the girl, Sadia*, her father and her brother. However, the family withdrew the case soon after, allegedly under pressure from the rival family. Swara is a custom in the Pashtun belt, under which girls are forcibly married to men of rival families to settle disputes. *Name has been changed to protect identity.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2012.
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