9-year-old girl awarded as ‘compensation’ in rape case

Published: November 9, 2012

Group of elders decreed that farm worker would marry off his daughter to landowner's son to settle year-long dispute. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: Police in Pakistan have arrested five men after a village council ordered a father to hand over his nine-year-old daughter as compensation in a rape case, officers said Friday.

A group of elders in the remote rural area of Bahalak in Punjab province made the ruling to settle a year-long dispute between a farm worker and an influential local landowner, local police station chief Mohammad Khalid told AFP.

The worker, Arshad, who goes by one name, was accused of involvement in the abduction and rape of landowner Ali Sher’s daughter, Khalid said.

“The jury on Sunday decreed that Arshad would marry (off) his daughter Sidra to Ali Sher’s 22-year old son Maqsood,” he explained.

“Arshad agreed verbally but Sidra, who is too young, remains with her family,” he said.

The marriage was not formally solemnised but the village council made Arshad agree to pay Sher Rs40,000 – a vast sum for a farm labourer in Pakistan – if he did not honour the ruling.

Khalid said Arshad and four council members had been arrested.

The practice of “vani”, giving daughters as compensation to end vendettas, is illegal and punishable by up to seven years in jail.

Pakistan is a deeply conservative country and women, especially in poor rural areas, enjoy few rights and little protection from the police.

Last week a couple in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed their 15-year-old daughter by dousing her with acid for supposedly shaming the family by looking at two boys.

The Most Popular News of the day in your Inbox daily.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Jat
    Nov 9, 2012 - 3:33PM

    Pakistanis don’t let us forget that they are Pakistanis, and why they are Pakistanis.

    Yet another sad and horrific story…


  • Farooq Malik
    Nov 9, 2012 - 3:35PM

    Sentence the council members to jail and educate the peoople for goodness sakes


  • Saeed
    Nov 9, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Yes, this is tragedy but punishing few people will not eliminate this issue ever. The Only thing that can is Education. It all comes to Government and we can imagine what our Government can do here: Nothing!


  • Buttler
    Nov 9, 2012 - 4:28PM

    This is brutal reality…But Express tribune has given extra stress on PAKISTAN IS AN CONSERVATIVE COUNTRY FOR women… it can be avoided..as it never helps to stop such act rather make things more worse for PAK


  • oog
    Nov 9, 2012 - 6:03PM

    How does stating the obvious make it worse?

    These things have been going on for centuries probably in some part due to the fact no one spoke out much. The least we can do is beat some drums every time this stuff happens and shame all us apathetic people. Who knows it may actually filter down eventually and help change attitudes.


  • T
    Nov 9, 2012 - 6:39PM

    we’re moving towards the dark age again.


  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 9, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Background: Alice Bhatti lives in a Christian slum and is a Christian nurse in a Muslim hospital in Karachi, Pakistan

    Mohammed Hanif “In our Lady of Alice Bhatti’ doubleday Canada $22.95, Hanif writes.. ”there was not a single day-not a single day-when she didn’t see a women shot or hacked, strangled or suffocated, poisoned or burnt, hanged or burnt alive. Suspicious husband, brother protecting his honor, father protecting his honor, son protecting his honor, jilted lover avenging his honor, feuding farmer selling their water disputes, moneylenders collecting their interest: most of lives’ arguments, it seemed, got settled by doing various things to a women’s body”


  • Mike
    Nov 9, 2012 - 11:24PM

    Our governments can start withholding aid to countries that let these abuses happen freely. Also aid money should be dependent on how the governments of these countries treat their minorities. No money, and these governments will crack down on these abuses soon.


  • whoisiamyouare
    Nov 10, 2012 - 12:20AM

    @Mike you are good.


  • Cautious
    Nov 10, 2012 - 12:49AM

    The practice of “vani”, giving
    daughters as compensation to end
    vendettas, is illegal and punishable
    by up to seven years in jail.

    Yeah right — anyone believe that someone is going to jail over this?


  • jayverma
    Nov 10, 2012 - 1:07AM

    What a senseless thing to do. You are destroying your own society yourself.


  • Jat
    Nov 12, 2012 - 2:11AM

    @Cautious: “Yeah right — anyone believe that someone is going to jail over this?”

    Why no one will go to jail ? Read the following comment from this website:

    Oct 8, 2012 – 6:32PM

    I dont think marrying underage girl is wrong just like beloved prophet did with Aisha who aas just 6 yrs old. If we disallow such practices it will lead to rapes in society. So we can avoid rape this way.


More in Pakistan