MINGORA: An FIR has been registered against 13 people, including members of a jirga, in Swat for allegedly resolving a long-standing dispute between rival families through swara. This is a custom of forcibly marrying girls of rival families to settle disputes
Muhammad Tariq, an official at Bahrain police station, told The Express Tribune jirga members gathered at Gornai, on the outskirts of Bahrain tehsil. During the jirga, they decided to hand over an eight-year-old child to settle an old dispute between rival families.
“The police received a tip-off, reached the spot and successfully foiled the plot,” Tariq said. “The elders were trying to implement the illicit custom of swara.”
According to the official, 13 people were taken into custody. “These included jirga elders and relatives from either side of rival families,” he added.
Tariq added an FIR was also registered against the incident soon after the arrests were made.
Root of the matter
As per the official, Abdullah, Sabiha’s brother, eloped with Darya Khan’s daughter two months ago.
“Since then, Darya Khan has been appealing to elders of Gornai to convene a jirga and ensure justice,” he said. “The Jirga decided to resolve the matter through swara.”
This is the third such case to surface from the district since January.
Hamza Iqbal, a lawyer in the district courts, told The Express Tribune swara is a punishable offence and the courts can sentence people to 10 years in prison and impose a heavy fine in such cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2016.
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