Child marriage: 12-year-old girl given in wani to 85-year-old

Ahmed said that he was ‘owed a wife’ after Rani’s father killed his wife 8 years ago.

Shamsul Islam October 01, 2011
Child marriage: 12-year-old girl given in wani to 85-year-old


A 12-year-old girl was given in marriage to an 85-year-old man in Chiniot on Friday.

According to eyewitnesses, tehsil Bhowana Adlana Japay resident Faiz sold his daughter Rani to his rival for five acres of land.

Eyewitnesses told police that Faiz had allegedly killed his cousin, the groom, Ahmed’s sister Anwar Bibi 8 years ago and a panchayat decided that he would give his daughter to settle the blood debt.

(Read: Film, discussion seek to raise awareness)

After being released from jail last week Faiz wed Rani to his rival Ahmed, who said that he had also paid for the girl by giving land. Residents informed police chowki in- charge Mangwana Zafar Baant about the case but he initially said that it was not in his jurisdiction to arrest people accused of wani.

Faiz was arrested by the police and was booked under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) eight years ago and remained in jail during the trial of the case. However, with the intervention of elders of the area, a deal was struck between the relatives of deceased Anwar Bibi and Faiz’s family.

Anwar Bibi’s family said they would pardon Faiz in the presence of the relatives of both parties and elders of the area during if he gave the hand of his 12-year-old daughter Rani Bibi to Ahmad.

“Ahmed said that Faiz had taken his wife from him and therefore ‘owed him a wife’.

Then he agreed to take his daughter,” eyewitness Raheem Shah said.

Ahmad is 82-years-old and is a wealthy landlord owning more than 20 acres of land. “He was married thrice. His first wife died young and the second got a divorce. The third, Anwar Bibi, was murdered by Faiz,” Shah told reporters. “The deal also stipulated that 5 acres of land be given to Faiz for handing over his daughter and the property has been transferred,” he added.

The nikah of Ahmad and Rani Bibi was solemnised 3 months ago but the marriage ceremony as held on Friday and was attended by over 100 people.

When contacted, Langrana Station House Officer (SHO) Zafar Bhatti said that he had conducted a raid but found that no laws were broken. “I cannot arrest anyone here because the girl is an adult as per Islamic Law and Shariah. She is 12-years-old and that is not too young for marriage,” he said.

“I have submitted a report with the court in this regard and it is up the court to prosecute,” he added. “The marriage needs a wali and her father is her guardian. It was his choice to give her in marriage,” he said.

Age is not just a number

As per CRA section 2,.(a) “child” means a person who, if a male, is under eighteen years of age, and if a female, is under sixteen years of age;

(b) “Child marriage” means a marriage to which either of          the contracting parties is a child;

(c) “Contracting party” to a marriage means either of the   parties whose marriage is or is about to be thereby solemnized;

(d) “Minor” means person of either sex who is under eighteen years of   age.

In this case girl was according to the parents is 12 years old, however the area SHO stated that she was an adult according to Shariah law.

According to Section 5 of the CRA, the punishment for solemnising a child marriage is as follows

“Whoever performs, conducts or directs any child marriage shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both, unless he proves that he had reason to believe that the marriage was not a child marriage.”

Similarly, Section 6 says that the “punishment for parent or guardian concerned in a child marriage.

(1) Where a minor contracts a child marriage any person having charge of the minor, whether as parent or guardian or in any other capacity, lawful or unlawful, who does any act to promote the marriage or permits it to be solemnized, or negligently fails to prevent it from being solemnized, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both:

Provided that no woman shall be punished with imprisonment.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2011.


Cycloneous | 12 years ago | Reply

@Munir Khan

I pray for the day that people in your country and religion will stand up for the sake of their faith and speak out against this type of nonsense. As much as I oppose and disagree with islam and its teachings, I really do pray for the day that muslims will stand up and take back their religion.

However, as long as people empower imams and clerics to write these ridiculous fatwas/edicts, to make laws as they see fit for their own interests, nothing is going to change; especially for Pakistan. In reality, that saddens me a lot, because I have good friends who are Pakistani, and they would never condone the nonsense that is happening in Pakistan but yet people look at them and wonder why these things are happening and no one is stopping the nonsense.

Munir Khan | 12 years ago | Reply

@Let there be Peace

It is not a case of being personal but of facts.Why do you seek to impose something that you would not be happy to impose on your own daughter or sister - it is that simple.It is outright hypocrisy to try and defend something that is both immoral & un-Islamic.How on earth do you think a 12 year old CHILD could give informed consent?? What happened in the past or in history is not relevant and I could quote many things that happened in the past that we no longer practise today.Fundamentally, this is about basic humanity. Islam is a humane religion and a progressive faith it was always ahead of its time in granting rights to women.The Islam that granted inheritance rights,divorce and banning infanticide hundreds of years before the west is now practising barbaric and activities that damage the name of Islam. I am outraged that any sane human being particularly who has a child or sister could even imagine that anything like this could be tolerated in today's day & age.Please stand up for the sake of Islam and AGAINST Juhaalut!

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