DERA GHAZI KHAN: A nine-year-old girl was married off to a man under the custom of vani in Dera Ghazi Khan to settle a kidnap case.
A panchayat (village council) in Thana Kot Mubarak area had ordered that the child be married off to the nephew of a man, who had lodged a complaint against the girl’s uncle for kidnapping his wife and three children.
Police have arrested four people in connection with the child marriage and lodged cases against a dozen others.
The cleric who solemnised the nikah and head of the panchayat are still at large and raids are being conducted to round them up.
On July 6, Haji Muhammad, the girl’s uncle, had allegedly kidnapped one-year-old Sanwal, three-year-old Salma Bibi and nine-year-old Iqra Bibi along with their mother. Their father, Budha Khan, sought the help of the village’s panchayat. Dozens of members from both the sides participated in its proceedings.
According to the customs of the area, the council decided that Sanwal, Salma Bibi and Iqra Bibi will be handed over to the custody of their father whereas their mother will go to her father’s house. It was also decided that the nine-year-old niece of the accused would be married off to the complainant’s nephew under the custom of vani.