Peshawar: A court here has sent six persons
to jail for forcibly trying to marry two minor girls under
`Sawara`, a child marriage custom prevalent in tribal areas of
Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The custom is linked to blood feuds among different
tribes and clans and involves the forcible marriage of young
girls to members of rival clans to resolve feuds.
The district and sessions judge of Shangla district
yesterday issued notices against the six and sent them to jail
for the `Swara` of one-and-half-year-old Kainat and
11-year-old Hameeda in the northwestern Malakand division.
It also directed the district police chief to register a
case against a man named Gul Muhammad, elders of the tribal
jirga or council and `Nikah Khwan` for arranging the illegal
weddings and submit a report within three days.
According to the local residents, the issue pertains to a
dispute between Azam Khan and Gul Muhammad.
Azam Khan allegedly abducted Gul Muhammad`s sister and
killed her after she refused to marry him. He was supported by
Sharif, Karim Khan, Sawab Khan, Umer Khan and Jan Muhammad in
kidnapping the girl.
Gul Muhammad subsequently registered a murder case in
Chakesar police station. Police arrested one of the accused,
Jan Muhammad, while the rest went into hiding and was sent to
jail while the other obtained bail before arrest from court.
At the same time, tribal elders launched efforts to
arrange a patch-up between the two groups and held a jirga.