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Girl saved from Vani

MIANWALI: Awareness regarding vani laws among rural women has saved a 15-year-old girl from being traded in a compensation marriage by a panchayat or village council in Kukranwala, a village near Kalabagh. A young man, of the village, however, has been sent to forced exile in pursuance of tribal customs, Dawn has learnt.

The punchayat sat on Thursday to settle the matter of Khurrum Abbas, 22, who was accused of having relations with a married girl belonging to the village. The 16-year-old girl, whose name is being withheld, was married to a 62-year-old man against her will.

She was staying at her parents as she had become estranged from her husband.

As per the decision of the panchayat, which included councillor Syed Noor, the 15-year-old sister of Khurrum would be married to Shaukat, the brother of the young girl, as vani.

However, the situation changed when Tehsin, an NGO worker learnt of the ruling. The head of the NGO spoke to the parties threatening them to stop or risk the ire of police forces.

The panchayat chose to amend their ruling, calling on Khurrum to leave the village until his former paramour has reconciled with her aged husband.
Source: DAWN
Date:12/22/2008

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