KARACHI: The act of pawning underage girls by their parents in interior Sindh was condemned by the Society for Protection of Rights of Child (SPARC), on Tuesday.
In a statement issued by Akhtar Hussain Baloch, Regional Manager, Sindh SPARC, it was learnt that many children have suffered and lost their childhood at the hands of their parents, in addition to their houses, lands, cattle-farms, shops and other holdings.
Highlighting the recent case of 17-year-old Rasheeda of Hyderabad, SPARC informed that Rasheeda’s late father lost her in a poker game when she was only two years old. Narrating the grim story behind the issue, Rasheeda’s mother, Nooran, stated that her husband, who was a gambler, had lost a game and had to pay a debt of Rs10,000 to one of their relatives, Lal Haider.
The family did not have enough money, therefore the father instead promised his daughter in compensation.
However, reports SPARC, despite paying the money last year, Haider still insists that the girl should be given to him because of tribal customs. It was learnt that the decision to hand Rasheeda to Haider was taken last week at a tribal council meeting (Jirga).
Some tribal elders from Balochistan also attended the meeting in which the girl’s family was told to give her as per their customs. This trading, which in many cases is done under the name of loan settling, is contingent upon the power, might and money of the lenders, who provide loans to the needy and later impose heavy interest in order to get away with their innocent minor daughters. “Child trafficking can be facilitated by local practices and customs because of the economic problems a family faces that forces them to sell their daughters to marriage.
When the daughters are married-off and the parents do not receive the promised amount on time, they pressurise the daughter to come back. This in turn leads to conflicts with the girl’s in-laws,” explains Baloch.
Source: The News