DERA GHAZI KHAN: A 13-year-old girl who was given in wani over a murder 10 years ago was recently sold for Rs110,000.
The girl will be handed over to a 14-year-old client for a nikah ceremony scheduled for July 24. 10 years ago in the Fort Minro area, Arshad killed Amiran over a minor issue. Later, local panchayat members including Aslam, Moj Ali, Aliho Bijrani, Huq Nawaz Jhadni, Haji Sabz Ali, Muridan Jhadni and others decided that Arshad would hand over his two sisters in ‘wani’ to the affected family. In the ensuing ‘negotiations’ three-year-old Najma and one-year-old Hameeda were handed over by Arshad to Amiran’s father Meran Khan.
Last year, 80-year-old Meran Khan decided to marry the then 12-year-old Najma Bibi but when the issue was raised by the media he decided against the nuptials and opted for selling Najma. A month ago Meran Khan sold Najma to Mehr Ali for Rs110,000. Ali scheduled the girl’s nikah with his 14-year-old son Juma Khan for July 24, 2010. Najma’s father Naseer has appealed to the authorities and police to take up the case and is trying to prevent the marriage from taking place. “I gave up my daughters ten years ago because my son would have been killed otherwise but I cannot see this happen,” he said.
Locals have said that the issue is an old one and the dispute between both families was resolved long ago. “Naseer has no right to cringe about what happens to his daughter now, given that he agreed to the wani a decade ago,” said an influential local Sabir Sheikh, adding that after wani old family ties are cut off. “What Meran Khan chooses to do with the girls now is his own business,” he said. “Naseer is being sentimental but he would not dare go to the police, he knows that these matters are settled by the panchayat,” Huq Nawaz Jhadni said.
Najma is scheduled to be handed over to Mehr Ali’s 14- year-old son Juma Khan. Najma has appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan for assistance.
Border Military Police (BMP) commander Tariq Mehmood Behchan said that he had already instructed Fort Munro BMP officials to put a stop to the wedding scheduled to take place on Saturday.
“If the family tries to pursue the matter then they will be taken into custody and a case will be registered against Mehr Ali,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2010.
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