Pakistan: 12-year-old girl forced to marry 72-year-old man, rescued by cops

Pakistan: 12-year-old girl forced to marry 72-year-old man, rescued by cops

THE Police in Pakistan’s Charsadda town, successfully intervened to prevent the marriage of a 12-year-old girl to a 72-year-old man named Habib Khan. The authorities arrested the groom and the ‘Nikah Khwan’ (the person who officiates the marriage), although the girl’s father managed to escape.

A case has been registered against the girl’s father, the elderly groom, and the ‘Nikah Khwan’ under the Child Marriage Act.

 

Despite the existence of laws prohibiting child marriage, such incidents continue to occur in various parts of Pakistan. The minor girl was sent to a hospital for a medical examination.

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The girl’s father, Alam Syed, had reportedly agreed to sell his daughter to the elderly man for PKR 500,000.

 

In recent times, law enforcement agencies have thwarted similar attempts in Rajanpur and Thatta, where young girls were being coerced into marrying older men.

In Rajanpur, Punjab, an 11-year-old girl was set to marry a 40-year-old man, while in Thatta, a young girl was forcibly married to a 50-year-old landlord before the police took action and rescued the girl.

In another incident on May 6, a 70-year-old man was arrested by the police for marrying a 13-year-old girl in Swat.

 

The girl’s father had arranged the marriage, but the police swiftly took the groom and the father into custody. The ‘Nikkah Khwan’ and the marriage witnesses were also arrested, and the minor girl was sent to a hospital for a medical examination.

 

Legal age for marriage in Pakistan

In Pakistan, the legal age for marriage differs based on gender. While the internationally recognized minimum age for both males and females is 18, the country’s laws allow males to marry at 18 but permit females to wed at the younger age of 16.

 

Although Sindh province took a step towards gender equality in 2013 by passing legislation to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 for both genders, this progressive change has not been adopted and implemented throughout the nation.

Yet, the disparity in legal marriage age between men and women persists in other parts of the nation.

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