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    Paktika elders agree to lower bride prices

    SHARAN (PAN): Tribal elders, religious scholars and influential figures on Tuesday agreed to reduce bride prices in southeastern Paktika province.

    At a gathering, the bride price for a girl was fixed at 250,000 afghanis ($5,000), for a widow at 150,000 afs. A married man seeking a second wife will have to pay a bride price of 350,000 afs.

    A tribal elder from Sarobi district, Qabil Siddiqui, said elders, religious scholars and youth from nine districts participated in the gathering.

    "Whoever violates our decision will have to offer six sheep and pay 300,000 afs in fine to the jirga," the elder warned. Siddiqui engaged his niece to Alam Gul, a resident of the area, who would pay 230,000 afs in bride price. 

    A similar initiative was implemented in Sarrowza district and later extended to the provincial capital, Sharan, as well as other parts of the province.

    In other provinces, such as Ghazni, Khost, Paktia, Wardak, Logar, Kandahar, Helmand, Farah and others, high bride prices imposed on grooms created serious wedding problems.