Forced Marriages: Peshawar High Court orders arrest of jirga members

Published: May 18, 2012
Petitioner Muhammad Nawaz Khan's daughters had been ‘claimed’ under tradition called ‘ghag’.

Petitioner Muhammad Nawaz Khan's daughters had been ‘claimed’ under tradition called ‘ghag’.


The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed the attorney-general of Pakistan, federal law secretary and provincial advocate-general to formulate a law to get rid of a custom where men lay a marriage claim to a woman.

PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan issued the order on Thursday as he heard a petition filed by Muhammad Nawaz Khan whose daughters had been ‘claimed’ under the tradition called ‘ghag’.

Two brothers, Jehangir and Abdul Razzaq of Sherkera area of Peshawar district, made a ‘ghag’ on their cousins Shaista, 13, and her sister Zeenat, 11.

Khan’s counsel Muhammad Essa told the court that when the family informed the father of the event, he rejected the claim upon which a local jirga was convened.

The jirga then imposed a fine of Rs0.2 million and asked Khan to marry his daughters to his nephews. After hearing the case, Chief Justice Khan expressed concern and ordered the provincial police chief to arrest the brothers, jirga members and other family members.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • May 18, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Way to go Good keep it up All JIRGAS should be BANNED


  • May 18, 2012 - 11:14AM

    I am shocled to know that this centuries-old custom of the Pashtuns is still exisiting even within the urban areas like Peshawar. This practice must be banned under the law.


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    May 18, 2012 - 2:26PM

    am I the only one with low IQ or something sinister that the age of boys is not given in this article? Age of both the girl is given so to be fair and understand the complexity of the case boys age should be disclosed too. I checked all other news outlet and even checked the Peshawar High Court website for original decision and it is not there.


  • Benbane Head
    May 18, 2012 - 2:38PM

    There is no place for a dual justice system. It should either be the laws of civilised nations or the laws of primitive people.


  • Umair Khan
    May 18, 2012 - 4:15PM

    salute to Peshawar High Court Judges, especially to Dost Muhammad Khan.


  • Qalandar Khan
    May 18, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @ khan: I belong to KPK and spent 30 years of my life in Charsadda (20 minutes drive from peshawar) and never heard of any custom like ‘ghag’. can you plz enlighten me how this custom works. honestly i never heard of this.


  • May 18, 2012 - 4:57PM

    i too belong for m Peshawar, never heard about this word Ghag

    Jirga is a great way to solve problems but if influences then you can expect any thing.


  • Mandeep Vaid
    May 18, 2012 - 6:12PM

    @Its (still) Econonmy Stupid:

    Jehangir alias Jeera is 56 and Abdul Razzaq 58


  • Oracle
    May 18, 2012 - 8:22PM

    i was wondering if this practse is in keeping with the tenets of islam. One thing is certain. Child marriage was quite prevalent in arabia even afetr the advent of islam and nowhere in the holy quran or sunnah have any restrictions been placed on this practise. The consent of the minor girl child by her father or male guardian was considered essentiall.Can a jrga assume these powers. Thats the moot question.


  • Rahul
    May 22, 2012 - 11:31PM

    First question is why anybody in world should allow at all marriage of such little girls. Isn’t it called a rape. Technically yes in all of the “advanced” countries.
    Doesn’t that come under United Nations Basic Human Rights charter?


  • Benbane Head
    May 29, 2012 - 9:30PM

    @Buy and Sell In Pakistan:
    @Qalandar Khan:

    Ghag is a term used in primitive and medieval culture like ours. When someone does “ghag” it means one has “announced” that a certain woman needs to be given to you in marriage. It happens in illiterate families from very rural areas.


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