Too young to marry: Police thwart child marriage in Khanewal

Published: January 4, 2017
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KHANEWAL: Police on Tuesday stopped the marriage of two children in Ahmadnagar, Khanewal District on Tuesday.

A police official said the marriage ceremony of Hasnain, 12, to 10-year-old Sonia and Hasnain’s minor sister Maria to Rashid was being held in Ahmednagar.

He added on receiving information, District Police Officer Jahanzaib Nazir Khan directed Kauhna Police Station SHO to take action for stopping the marriage.

A police team raided the ceremony when the ‘nikah’ was about to be performed. They said they had been tipped by a resident of the area.

However, no arrests have been made in the case till filing of the report.

According to UNICEF, child marriages accounted for 32% of all marriages in the country from 1987 to 2005.

Experts say that not much is expected to change in the next decade if the government does not take the issue seriously. Around 100 million girls are expected to enter into child marriage in the next decade.

They are of the view there are laws to prevent child marriages, the Child Marriages Restraint Act 1929 has not been modified in 82 years. They recommended that in case of early child marriages the minimum punishment should be increased to two years and the fine to at least Rs100,000 to deter offenders.

The experts suggested that penalties should be applicable on parents of both the bride and groom. Also, the minimum age for marriage for both boys and girls should be 18 years.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2017.

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