8-year-old girl married off in place of missing sister
PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): In line with a bizarre decision of some tribal elders from the Nahrin district of northern Baghlan province, a minor girl has been married off to a 20 years old man in place of her missing sister.
Shah Zaman,45, father of the 8-year-old, said some gunmen forced their way into his house and took away one of his daughters already engagedtwo months back. He has no information about his daughter’s whereabouts.
Zaman said his 8-year-old daughter’s marriage happened after her elder sister was forcibly taken away by the gunmen. The fiancé of his kidnapped daughter came to his house along with some elders and in a show of coercion, the fiancé tied the knot with his 8-year-old girl.
A month back, the little girl was accompanied by her father to Pul-i-Khumri -- the provincial capital -- and lodged a complaintwith police. But to date, no remedial measure has been taken on the basis of their complaint.
Women Affairs Director Khadija Yaqeen, slamming forced and nonage marriages as violence against females, said her department had shared the cases of Zaman’s both daughters with police and asked them to take strict action against the perpetrators.
While expressing concern over the increased incidents of violence against women, Yaqeen said lack of awareness about women’s rights in far-flung areas was the main reason behind a surge in human rights violations.
Meanwhile, Baghlan’s deputy police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir said the individuals involved in the marriage of the eight years old had been identified and would.be brought to justice.
Civil society members expressed concerns over the forced marriages and violence against women, asking the government not to let tribal elders ram their uncanny decisions down the throat of helpless minors.
Activist Mohammad Usman said civil social organisations had launched an investigation into the unlawful nikah and kidnapping of the girls.
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