"The man was asked to give his daughter for marriage and he later agreed."
Police officers arrested four Pakistani men, including a marriage registrar, for giving an 11-year-old girl to get married.
The men were arrested on June 18, 2019, after a panchayat (a member of self-government) declared the girl vani.
Vani is a custom in which a young girl is forced into marriage as punishment for a crime committed by her male relatives or to settle a dispute.
A police case has also been registered against 15 men for setting up the marriage.
The panchayat ordered a man and a woman to leave the village of Shabun village after it was discovered that they were having an affair.
When they refused, the village elders gathered and said that the man’s 11-year-old daughter should be given in vani in order to settle the dispute.
It was reported that Fayaz and Talib Hussain cultivated crops and were living on state-owned land near the home of the girl’s father.
They accused the man and woman of having an extramarital affair and called a panchayat.
Haji Muhammad Usman Sarpanch led the panchayat and ordered them to leave before one village elder came up with the idea of vani.
After the vani was agreed, Sarpanch said that if the man and woman still refused to leave the village, they would be shot dead.
The man was asked to give his daughter for marriage and he later agreed.
The marriage was marked on April 14, 2019. On June 17, the child’s ‘husband’ demanded a Rukhsati.
A Rukhsati takes place when the bride and groom leave together with the permission of the family elders. At this point, the bride and groom are married and the bride bids farewell to her family.
Before the girl left the house, her father pleaded for her not to be taken. Neighbours heard the screams and informed the police.
A police team led by Regional Police Officer Muhammad Umer Sheikh arrived at the scene and ordered a case to be registered based on the complaint of Sub-Inspector Mohammad Asghar.
Four Pakistani men were arrested, including the marriage registrar Maulvi Nizamuddin and the young girl’s father.
Officers are carrying out raids to arrest any other suspects.
Officer Sheikh explained that illegal and inhumane behaviour would not be tolerated.
He said: “We will take the decision based on merit and no hindrance will be tolerated to provide justice.”
He directed officers at Kala Police Station to arrest any suspects and take them into custody.