Ahead of time: Police make first arrest as parents violate underage marriage bill

Published: May 15, 2014
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"The family of the girl were forcing her to get married," the girl's uncle had claimed. PHOTO: FILE

"The family of the girl were forcing her to get married," the girl's uncle had claimed. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Since the Sindh Assembly passed the bill against underage marriage, Clifton police made their first arrest against parents violating the bill on Wednesday at around 2am.

As they raided the wedding function in upper Gizri, Clifton police took the bride and the groom, who hail from Rahim Yar Khan, into custody as well. Marriage of people under 18 years old was made illegal in the bill passed by the Sindh Assembly on April 28. Those who violate the law can be imprisoned for up to three years in jail.

When the police learned about the underage marriage from the girl’s uncle, Allah Dad, they headed to the location. “The family of the girl were forcing her to get married,” the girl’s uncle had claimed. “I repeatedly told them [the two families] it is illegal but they did not agree with me. Finally, I had to approach the police.”

When the police reached the girl’s house, she was about to leave with the groom’s family. “All the preparations for the rukhsati had been made when we raided,” said Clifton SHO Ghazala Perveen.

On Wednesday morning, the police produced the couple before a court, where the groom was granted bail.

The couple denied, however, the claims made by the uncle and insisted they were not forced into the marriage. “My mother arranged my wedding after my consent,” she said. The groom also said that both families mutually agreed on the marriage. “It was only my wife’s uncle who was unhappy with our marriage,” he said.

The family produced their nikah documents to the police that show that the girl is 18 years old. Allah Dad claimed, however, that she is 14 years old. The documents stated that the groom was born on January 1, 1968.

“We have yet to ascertain the actual facts and the age of the girl,” said the inquiry officer, Saeed, while talking to The Express Tribune. “The girl will be taken to the hospital to ascertain her age.” The police have refrained from registering the case until the girl’s age is confirmed.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Rationalizer
    May 15, 2014 - 10:08AM

    Look what you people are reducing the people to. Puberty claims a natural call to marriage but you say no, why are you people being so unreasonable to so many poor people. Why can we not just do this for prepubescent girls. What are the poor girls and boys going to do for so long till they turn 18, you can fool yourselves with the nobility of education but you cannot fool yourself with the laws of nature. Its so overt, its overt.

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  • Ali
    May 15, 2014 - 10:58AM

    @Rationalizer: The problem with your rationale is that you think ‘Physical Maturity’ is the only thing required to get married. No importance is given to ‘Mental Maturity’.

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  • Ali
    May 15, 2014 - 11:00AM

    What really was the case here? marriage under 18 or the girl was not ready?
    As its clear for the news that the unhappy uncle got succeeded in delaying the marriage by using the law.. how easy it is to disrupt a marriage! until police ‘clears’ up the matter

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  • Fahad
    May 15, 2014 - 11:00AM

    @Rationalizer:
    Islam says the exact thing. Once you reach age of puberty you can marry. Shame on these law makers of the sindh assembly who have introduced this black law in the cover of Child marriage. They have no objection if they satisfy their needs outside wedlock. Black day for Pakistan.

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  • Mullah
    May 15, 2014 - 11:07AM

    This is not a law yet, the assembly just passed the bill.

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  • Politician
    May 15, 2014 - 11:10AM

    Why dont illegal relationship under 18 years old cannot be considered illegal in the bill ? Welcome to Secular Pakistan.

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  • Bro
    May 15, 2014 - 11:20AM

    Law is law. Religion is religion. Both should be exclusive of each other. Islam doesn’t teach us to be animals. I support the police against this act of barbarism.

    Why is it a Black Day for Pakistan again? Just because people (not you) do not conform to your personal Islamic ideals which have probably been tainted by your and the perceptions of whatever mullah you follow. Religion is something personal, you should follow it as you see fit. We need to get rid of this disgraceful mentality and actually fully try to excessive our mental capabilities rather than being spoon fed from a mullah who will always be working for his own motives.

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  • Ahmed
    May 15, 2014 - 11:25AM

    @Politician:
    They already are under Hadood law. Why do you people write comments for the sake of writing comments?

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  • Ahmed
    May 15, 2014 - 11:40AM

    @Bro:
    Very well said. Just very ignorant to consider physical age as the mental age of marriage. Islam will not allow anyone to get married unless and until they are fully capable of taking care of the social, and financial responsibilities that come with marriage. How come a 12 year old provide for this wife? How will be mentally capable of handling these responsibilities? Is it SO difficult to understand?

    What shocks me is that these are literate people writing such brain-washed comments! What about the illiterate masses who mullah has brain-washed already. I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • Jalbani Baloch
    May 15, 2014 - 11:48AM

    The Police must make sure that law is implemented in letter and spirit and create and give a clear message to the violators that law shall prevail any cost beyond any consideration of whatsoever nature. In laws are made for the proper regulation of society, organization and institutions, and it is supreme in nature of implementation. Without any debate on the age of marriage, whether it takes effect from 18 years or on attaining puberty, the police has simply to ensure application of law. The section of people, who are not satisfied with the decision of the Government, may challenge it in the court of law and seek redressal of their grievances.

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  • Salman Hasan
    May 15, 2014 - 11:50AM

    People who are criticizing this law did not realize the groom’s age. How can any sane parent allows their 14 years old daughter to get married to a 45 years old groom? This is pathetic and against human rights. If everyone is talking about puberty and laws of nature, then Islam allows girls to have a consent in selecting her husband. How can uneducated immature 14 years old girl could decide what is good for her? She can’t even have basic knowledge about raising herself. How can she raise a baby if she gets pregnant. Why do older men always find excuses in marrying underage girls? Why can’t they find women from their own age groups. I am sure they can find lots of widows and divorced women waiting for their hand and support.

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  • Salman Hasan
    May 15, 2014 - 12:00PM

    I request Federal government to impose strict laws against marriages under 18 years of age. I would propose 15 lashes for those parents who forces their underage daughters to marry middle aged men. We need to stop these men from molesting our innocent and immature young girls. Laws should include that girls should complete High School before they get married. Our future mothers should be educated enough to teach their own kids during their primary ages. That’s how you make your nation literate.

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  • Usman
    May 15, 2014 - 12:00PM

    @Politician: This is not secular but humane Pakistan. No marriage under 18 should be allowed, as there are plenty of Mullahs waiting in turn to get their hands on 13-14 y/o girls in the name of Islam.

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  • Ahmed
    May 15, 2014 - 1:35PM

    Good to see some sane comments here. Was very disappointed to see people calling it a black law, it is OK for 12, 13 year old girls to be married off to 45 year olds, their life ruined? but a law protecting against this is a black law?

    @Fahad:
    I don’t know who teaches you all this? Islam does not ONLY say of the physical age. Islam considers physical as well as the mental aspects of marriage! How can a 12 year old provide for his wife and children? How can a teenage mother manage her growing body as well as the child? What about the health of the child? I am sure you ridicule the West a lot for their teenage pregnancies! Will they be mature enough to understand the responsibilities of married life?

    If you can’t satisfy even one aspect, you are not allowed to marry. Plus, it need the consent of both parties. underage marriage can only lead to exploitation. You need to improve your understanding of religion and please avoid mullahs.

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  • Bukhari
    May 15, 2014 - 2:16PM

    I believe and support that for a girl, if she “baligh” she should get married asap. No age limitation should be there, girls reach adult at different ages.

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  • Punjabi
    May 15, 2014 - 10:48PM

    let me guess.. Uncle wanted to marry the girl.

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