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Vani, is it just another court case?

MULTAN, April 6: A man has moved the sessions court of Rahim Yar Khan for the registration of a case against a village council or Punchayat for deciding the marriage of a five-year-old girl with a six-year-old boy.

Petitioner Abdul Sattar, of Makhan Bela in Rahim Yar Khan, says Punchayat members decided the marriage of a five-year-old Meraj Bibi as ‘vani’ to settle a reported affair of his brother with a relative woman.

He said some five months ago, the village council held Pervaiz, of Makhan Bela, for having an affair with his cousin, Nasim Bibi, the wife of Rabnawaz, of Thul Wazir.

Abdul Sattar, the uncle of both Pervaiz and Nasim, says the Punchayat was convened on March 18 at the tomb of Rasool Bakhsh Shah in Wasti Pir to settle the issue. Manzoor Ahmed, a landlord from mauza Islampur, led the council.

He said that a few members, including Mughal Khan, Munir Ahmed, Abbas and Muhammad Bukhsh, suggested a fine to punish Pervaiz but Manzoor Ahmed, Allah Wasaya, Allah Diwaya, Noor Ahmed and others favoured the marriage of Meraj Bibi, the sister of Pervaiz, with five-year-old Mubeen, the son of Haqnawaz, as the price of the ‘sin’ of Pervaiz.

He said Hazoor Bakhsh Shah performed Nikah of Meraj with Mubeen on March 20 and the family of Pervaiz was also imposed a fine of Rs30,000 to be paid to Haqnawaz.

He said that Pervaiz and his father, Bashir Ahmed, were against the heinous act but Abbadpur police detained the family of Pervaiz for three days and coerced them to change their statement. He said now Pervaiz and his family had denied the incident due to pressure of police.

Amir Nadeem, petitioner’s council, told Dawn that court had summoned the report from Abbadpur police till April 15.

Abbadpur station house officer Yaseen Gujar said he had not received any court orders regarding the issue.
Source: Dawn