Stop giving girls in marriage to settle rows: Pakistani daily
A Pakistani daily Thursday criticised the practice of giving girls in marriage to settle disputes after a tribal court ordered a man to hand over his two sisters and a niece to an aggrieved family and another directed the wedding of a 13-year-old girl with a 50-year-old man.
An editorial in the Dawn said the victims must be protected. It pointed out that the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act 2011 specifically lays out punishments for giving girls in marriage to settle disputes.
Jirgas themselves have been actively discouraged or banned, "yet the detestable practice remains as entrenched as ever".
"This is partly because while there is much talk of the law in urban areas, it is not so easy to implement these in the dark hinterlands where state justice is elusive," said the daily.
It said that in interior Sindh, a man accused of having had illicit relations with the wife, who was subsequently killed, of another man was ordered by a tribal court to hand over his two sisters and a niece to the aggrieved family under the 'sang chatti' custom.
Currently underage, the girls are to be handed over once they reach puberty.
In the second case, a jirga in Khairpur district settled a marriage dispute by ordering a 13-year-old girl to be immediately handed over in marriage to a 50-year-old man.
The daily sought "effective and prohibitive implementation" of the law.
It demanded that the men convening the jirgas "must be pursued, and made to face justice".
"Until the majority of men in the country are aware that the abuse of women is criminalised and that violators will face the full force of the law little real change will be forthcoming," it said.