A jirga decided that a small girl should be bartered in compensation to settle a karo-kari dispute between two groups of the Kambohs and Maliks. This was decided in Din Mohammad Malik village near Daharki.
Four months ago, Khadim Hussain Malik, the son of Mevo Malik, and Kausar, the daughter of Mohammad Din Kamboh, eloped. Her father lodged a case against him on charges of kidnapping. Meanwhile the married couple filed a petition to seek protection with the Sindh High Court in Sukkur.
The jirga, which was held on Saturday night, was presided over by Chaudhary Arshad, commonly known as Boota. After hearing both parties, the boy was declared a karo and he was fined Rs500,000. Moreover, the jirga ordered that his little sister, Haseena, 5, would be given in marriage to Kamboh’s 15-year-old son.
Hussain Malik refused to accept the verdict of the jirga. “Kausar married me of her own will and therefore I cannot be declared a karo,” he said. “When I am not karo, then the question of accepting the jirga’s verdict does not arise.” He went to the Daharki police station to lodge an FIR against the girl’s father and others, but according to him, the police refused to register his complaint.
While talking to The Express Tribune on the phone, Hussain Malik said that after he and his wife had filed the petition, the court had ordered the police to provide them protection. He explained that the previous night he attended the jirga because Chaudhry Arshad has asked him to come and reconcile the matter. He plans to file a petition against Chaudhry Arshad.
Daharki Assistant Head Constable Abdul Qadeer said he was not aware of the jirga. “Let me confirm the matter with the head constable,” said Qadeer. After a few minutes he confirmed that no one had come to register such a complaint.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.