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Victimised girl’s family asked to quit village

As per details provided by the NGO Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC) on Friday, the family residing in Goth Ghulam Kalro was forced into a Jirga by an influential landlord and their 17-year-old was given in marriage to an elderly person. “When the family refused to accept the heinous decision and resisted them, another Jirga was conducted to evict them from their home and village,” said the statement.Akhtar Baloch, Regional Manager, SPARC, in his statement, said that the child activist sources in Umerkot revealed that the girl’s father was further being forced to pay Rs50,000 as compensation and the hired mob tried to set their house aflame.

It was also stated that the Moulvi who conducted the Nikah ceremony is still roaming scot-free despite conducting the forced marriage of a minor, which is illegal according to both the Shariah and Pakistan Panel Code (PPC).It is a clear violation of child rights and minor marriage code as the victim is under-age. They demanded that she be treated as a minor and that the judicial, state and provincial authorities should take corrective measures to curb this illegal practice.Earlier, the family had opposed the decision of an illegal Jirga but through yet another Jirga conducted by the luminaries of the village, the family has been asked to leave their home and the village.

According to SPARC, an influential feudal at Goth Muhammad Raheem Kalro, near Umerkot, accused a youth, Ali Nawaz Kalro of Karo-Kari and had a Jirga conducted.
As a result of the Jirga, he abducted the younger sister of Ali Nawaz in an armed incursion and forcefully performed her Nikah to an elderly person.
On reporting the incident to police, they raided the place and arrested five people including the groom and the Jirga conductor, but later released the influential landlord.

It was after the recovery of the victim, who was sent for medical check-up to the Civil Hospital, Umerkot, where she told the mediafolk that she was abducted and tortured into the forced Nikah. “She claims that she is still being threatened for her life,” adds SPARC.
It was further stated that a notable number of Jirgas continue to be held and the practice is not only dominant in upper Sindh but is fast spreading to the lower areas.Despite the ban on Jirgas by the Sindh High Court (SHC), more than 150 Jirgas have already been conducted in the region. “It is ironic that not only the local feudal lords but also the government officials and the elected representatives are responsible for them,” said the statement.

Source: The News