Child marriage: Eleven-year-old girl bartered off to satiate father’s lust

Nadia was married to a boy twice her age in exchange for a second wife.


Express September 30, 2011

SUKKUR: In a woman’s complaint cell, barefooted, but decked up like a bride, 11-year-old Nadia told The Express Tribune of how her father had bartered her off in ‘marriage’ to a boy almost twice her age.

Late on Wednesday, a woman came to the New Pind police station claiming that her husband had forced her daughter into marrying a 20-year-old boy.

She directed the police to a house in Islam Colony, from where they arrested her husband, Mohammad Yasin Shaikh, her new son-in-law, Shakeel Shaikh, and his brother Ghulam Shabbir Shaikh along with Maulvi Noor Ahmed Chachar. Nadia and her mother, Ghulam Zuhra, were sent to a women’s complaint cell.

On Thursday, Nadia and the four men came before the second civil judge and judicial magistrate, Sukkur, Rajab Ali Shar, who, after recording their statements, promptly sent all four of them to jail for a14-day judicial remand.

In her statement, Nadia told the court that her father had forced her into marrying Shakeel and opted to leave with her maternal uncle, Lal Mohammad Shaikh.

Earlier at the women’s complaint cell, Nadia vehemently spoke about how her father is a greedy man and must have done the whole thing for money. The previous morning, her father beat her mother out of the house. “That afternoon, Shakeel and the maulvi arrived and my nikkah was solemnised,” she said. “After the nikkah, Shakeel took me to his house, from where the police found me.”

According to Ghulam Zuhra, her husband had married another woman six months ago and, in exchange, promised to give up their daughter Nadia. When Zuhra tried to stand up to him, he beat her. “I went to my brother’s house and, taking advantage of my absence, he married Nadia off,” she told The Express Tribune, “but a neighbour told me about this and I immediately informed the police.”

The complaint centre head, Safia Baloch, explained that the whole episode was a result of a lack of awareness. The cell’s SHO, Zuhra Shah, said that girls involved in child marriages and karo-kari disputes are kept at the cell before they are taken to court.

The cell has only one male police constable and very few staffers - eight female constables who work around the clock in shifts with very few facilities. The building was initially supposed to be a women’s police station but was turned into a complaint cell.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th,  2011.

COMMENTS (16)

Lysel | 10 years ago | Reply

@Amjad: who wrote: "Sad; This type of injustice is common among Arabs but is not part of Pakistani culture."

Horsepucky! This is Arab/Islamic culture & a VERY common practice in all muslim-majority countries - including & especially in Pakistan! If this bothers you & you are ashamed of it -- rather than bringing India & other countries into the mix, ADMIT it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Sweeping it under the rug, or defending mohammed, who himself "married" a six year old CHILD -- have the COURAGE to address & end this barbaric practice! To change "hearts & minds", one first has to admit the problem!

Cycloneous | 10 years ago | Reply @Amjad & @Asad NO ONE has a right to marry off a little girl to a man twice her age. It defies all common sense. The problem here is not just culture, but religion. People are using religion to justify an Arab cultural practice, that the modern world looks down upon and with good reason. If you justify this because of religion and say that I am blaspheming against your "prophet" and religion that I submit to you that you have a great error in your judgement because of your lack of moral values and respect for human beings. Stop saying that because some one has an opinion on islam or islamic practice and you disagree with that person that it is blasphemy!!! If you are offended by what some one says against your religion then you are insecure in your religion and are threatened by that opinion. A differing opinion on our part, does not excuse your insecurity on your part.
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