"Where are the rights of girls?"
It has been reported that a Pakistani politician married a 14-year-old girl, prompting a police investigation.
Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi is the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader and is also a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Balochistan.
According to reports, he is in his late fifties.
An investigation was launched after officers received a complaint from an NGO working for the welfare of women in Chitral.
In an application, Anjuman Dawat-o-Azeemat alleged that news of the teenager’s marriage with the politician had gone viral on social media. The matter had outraged netizens.
One person wrote: “Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi has tied the knot with an underage girl. Where are the rights of girls?”
Another said: “In a shaming incident, Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), & a Member of the National Assembly (MNA) from Balochistan married a 14-year-old girl.
“The Pakistan police have launched an investigation into the marriage.”
Lord Rami Ranger tweeted: “Pakistani politician Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi, who is in his late fifties, marries a 14-year-old girl.”
He also called for UK MPs Naz Shah and Debbie Abrahams to speak out on women’s rights.
Additional SHO Rehmat Ali confirmed that an investigation had been registered against Ayubi.
He added: “We have started an investigation into this case.”
In Pakistan, the law does not allow marriages of girls below the age of 16.
According to Chitral Police Station SHO Sajjad Ahmed, the girl was a student of Government Girls High School in Jughoor.
Her date of birth stated she was born on October 28, 2006, meaning that she is only 14 and has not attained the legal age of marriage.
SHO Ahmed revealed that on the basis of the complaint, officers visited the girl’s home in the Daroosh area.
However, when her father was questioned, he denied his daughter’s marriage and even provided a written statement.
It was reported that the Pakistani politician had just solemnised marriage with the girl. An actual ceremony has not been held yet.
Tahafuz-e-Haqooq-e-Chitral Chairman Pir Mukhtar Nabi said that they were consulting lawyers on this matter and announced to file a written petition before the court of competent jurisdiction against the MNA.
Lower Chitral DPO Sonia Shimroz Khan said that the girl’s father had agreed in writing that he would not do that and would ask the local police before a “proper marriage ceremony”.
The father assured officers that he will not send his daughter until she is 16-years-old.
Dawn reported that the alleged marriage between the teenage girl and Ayubi comes despite the country’s marriage laws.
In addition to the groom, parents who willingly allow their underage daughters to get married also face punishment.