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Two more girls fall victim to Vani

MANSEHRA, Aug 16: A woman whose two daughters were brought from Karachi to the tribal area of Kala Dhaka to marry them off to two brothers under the Vani custom, has said she will prefer to die but will not go back home without her daughters as a jirga will decide the fate of the two girls in a few days, Dawn has learnt.

Yasmin Bibi, the mother of 10-year-old Saira and eight-year-old Zeenat, told Dawn in the Oghi area that her daughters had been kidnapped and brought to Kala Dhaka six months ago. She said the Sindh High Court had directed the political administration of the tribal area to recover the girls, but to no avail.

She said her husband’s brother Shah Tareen had married Jannat Bibi, daughter of Satkasar of Kala Dhaka, in a local court without the consent of her family seven years ago and shifted her to Karachi following which a dispute had developed between the two families.

To end the dispute, she said, a paternal cousin of her husband, Sanobar Khan, had come to Kala Dhaka from Karachi and without the consent of her family agreed to marry her two daughters to two minor brothers of Jannat Bibi, who were less than eight years of age.

She said when Sanobar Khan came back to Karachi and asked her husband Taj Zareen to hand over the two girls to the rival family under the Vani custom, her husband and she refused to accept the settlement.

Then, she said, Shah Tareen, Sanobar Khan and Ishaq Khan, an elder brother of Jannat Bibi, kidnapped her two daughters in their absence and brought them to Kala Dhaka six months ago.

The woman said when her husband reached Kala Dhaka to take their daughters back, the accused called a so-called local jirga, which handed over the girls to the rival party and her husband was threatened with dire consequences.

She said following that development her husband registered an FIR with the Site police in Karachi after which Shah Tareen and Sanobar Khan were arrested and Ishaq Khan was still at large.

She said that following the incident, her health had been deteriorating and most of the time she remained fainted.

“I will not go back to Karachi without my daughters. I will prefer to die here as life for me without my daughters has no meaning,” she said.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/17/2008

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