Islamic Council urges for end to child marriages

Religious leaders from Khyber Paktunkhwa reiterated their support for the promotion of the rights of women during a multi-faith dialogue on ending child marriages. The event, held on Monday, October 25, was organized jointly by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC), the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Commission and women’s health advocacy group Blue Veins.

During the event, CII Chair Dr. Qibla Ayaz extended an invitation to religious leaders and clerics across Pakistan to join a collective effort to end child marriages though awareness building and promoting social change. They reiterated that citizens have duty to discourage child marriages and ensure that children complete their education – speakers provided that keeping children in schools, especially girls, was one of the best ways to prevent their early marriages.

Meanwhile, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) declared swara, a custom where girls (often minors) are given in marriage as compensation to an aggrieved party in a dispute, un-Islamic.

While hearing a petition submitted by one Sakina Bibi who argued that the tradition encroached upon women and girls’ fundamental rights, a three-judge bench headed by the FSC Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Meskenzai held that there was a consensus among ulema that swara and vani are opposed to Islamic teachings.

Dr. Mohammad Aslam Khaki, Jurist Consult at the FSC, said vani violated at least four fundamental rights of the victim.

  1. As she is offered by the accused family, the aggrieved family often discriminates or deprives
  2. She is forced to marry without her consent
  3. She is not entitled to haq-e-mehr
  4. She cannot file for divorce

Two held for ‘honour’ killing in Lower Kohistan

Lower Kohistan police have arrested two men for allegedly murdering a woman for ‘honour’ in the Bectoki Simo Dera area Pattan tehsil.

The victim’s father, Aurangzeb, had accused his son-in-law, Mohammad Banaras, and his family of killing his daughter. He told media that she had married the prime accused two years back but was kidnapped by brigands in Lower Kohistan.

Aurangzeb further stated that after she had been abducted, a local jirga declared her “choar”, a tradition in which any man or woman who interacted with one of the opposite sex is liable to death. The woman was later recovered by the police and reunited with her father. Her husband was allowed to take her with him.

She was later axed dead and her body thrown down a mountain.

The woman’s father told media that her body was found with the help of police last week and she was formally buried near Mansehra City. Police claimed to have arrested two of the four accused and say they will apprehend the remaining suspects soon.

Meanwhile, Aurangzeb claims that the main accused is still at large and is pressuring him to withdraw the case.

Remand of Gojra gang rape accused extended

Gojra Judicial Magistrate Abid Islam Kurriana on Monday extended by two days physical remand of two men accused of gang-raping an 18-year-old girl on October 11.

The rape survivor, who hails from Toba Tek Singh was lured on the prospect of getting a job at a boutique by a woman and the two suspects who belong to Chak 288-JB. The group took her to Faisalabad and raped her inside the car while on the motorway.

The woman who had lured the rape survivor is still at large.


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