MANSEHRA: In an exemplary display of courage, a teenage girl thwarted her family’s bid to forcibly marry her off to another man and tied the knot with her childhood fiancé in court.
An official of Oghi police told The Express Tribune on Sunday that an 18-year-old daughter of Jan Muhammad from Riyan Banda Oghi village went missing from her house on August 29.
On the complaint of the girl’s cousin, Riaz, who is also her guardian after the father’s death, the police registered a criminal case against Amin and five others from the same village under Section 365-B of the Pakistan Penal Code. The provision deals with kidnapping and abducting for marriage.
However, on Saturday, the girl appeared before the court of the Oghi magistrate and recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc). The teenager said she was engaged to her relative Amin from early childhood, but her cousin Riaz was determined to marry her to his younger brother. However, she was not ready for the union.
When Riaz continued pressing her and threatened to forcibly marry her to his brother, she called Amin and asked him to protect her. Producing a marriage certificate, the girl said she and Amin tied the knot in court the morning after she left home.
The 18-year-old told the court that she was forced to take such a step because she was tired of being treated like an animal and wanted to live according to her own terms.
She defended her actions by saying that they were according to the law and social norms. The court, after recording her statement, allowed her to leave with her spouse.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2016.