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Woman ‘sold by in-laws’ appeals for protection

GHALANI (Mohmand Agency): A tribal woman, who was allegedly sold by her in-laws to a family in Punjab about eight months ago, has reached here after escaping from her captors. Twice married, Shaheen approached the tribal administration on Wednesday, sought protection and appealed to it to provide her justice and recover her four missing children. The Assistant Political Agent (APA), Amjad Ali, summoned the present and former husbands of the woman, her in-laws and some other tribal notables.

The administration handed over the woman to a tribal elder, Haji Umer Hayat, and ordered him to keep her at his residence till the next order. The APA has fixed Jan 13 for hearing of the case. Narrating her ordeal, the woman said that about eight months ago, her father-in-law, Bedar Burhankhel, and mother-in-law asked her to come out of her room when her husband, Samandar Khan, was not present at home. When she came out, she was taken to the entrance of the house where someone covered her face with a cloth and she fell unconscious.

When she regained consciousness, she was in a rural locality of Punjab where the inmates treated her as domestic servant and her prime responsibility was to look after cattle and work in the fields. Shaheen told Dawn that two days ago, with the help of a woman from Peshawar who had been doing small business of clothes in the area, she escaped from the area, boarded a bus and reached her village in Pandyale tehsil here. She said she was first married to Samiullah, and from that marriage she had four children. But because of pressure from a tribal chief, she said, Samiullah had divorced her, and after that her parents had married her to Samandar Khan. The woman presumed that she was kept somewhere near Gujrat.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/11/2007

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