Girl awarded as 'compensation' in dispute

2012-11-09 17:02

Lahore - Police in Pakistan have arrested five men after a village council ordered a father to hand over his 9-year-old daughter as compensation in a rape case, officers said on Friday.

A group of elders in the remote rural area of Bahalak in Punjab province made the ruling to settle a year-long dispute between a farm worker and an influential local landowner, local police station chief Mohammad Khalid said.

The worker, Arshad, who goes by one name, was accused of involvement in the abduction and rape of landowner Ali Sher's daughter, Khalid said.

"The jury on Sunday decreed that Arshad would marry [off] his daughter Sidra to Ali Sher's 22-year old son Maqsood," he explained.

"Arshad agreed verbally but Sidra, who is too young, remains with her family," he said.


The marriage was not formally solemnised but the village council made Arshad agree to pay Sher $4 000 - a vast sum for a farm labourer in Pakistan - if he did not honour the ruling.

Khalid said Arshad and four council members had been arrested.

The practice of "vani", giving daughters as compensation to end vendettas, is illegal and punishable by up to seven years in jail.

Pakistan is a deeply conservative country and women, especially in poor rural areas, enjoy few rights and little protection from the police.

Last week a couple in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed their 15-year-old daughter by dousing her with acid for supposedly shaming the family by looking at two boys.

  • anthea.lagrange - 2012-11-09 17:34

    How does a child get to pay for her father's sins? That is seriously screwed up.

  • albert.m.burger - 2012-11-09 17:40

    Great to have good parents...

  • qhuggett - 2012-11-09 17:45


  • Spearshaker@Inkandla - 2012-11-09 18:11

    Could this be the direction in which we are heading with the traditional court's bill presently being considered in parliament? Pity the women and young girls in traditional communities.

      joneethling - 2012-11-09 19:31

      Hope thes traditional courts will be subject to the constitution?

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-12-03 13:01

      I am concerned that joneethling is on to something. The Traditional courts bill gives no recourse outside of it's appointed patriarchial ruler decisions [ men rule, women just obey ]. This is probably contray to the Constitution. Does the ANC give a fig ? No, it places them in the position of handing out power and privileges to entrench their support base. The Tribal Chiefs have to be paid for doing something, see ?

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-11-09 18:17


  • Kash Sidoo - 2012-11-10 08:16

    How the hell is this still happening in our modern society.....when are women and girls going to be protected in every country in every state in every society in every culture??? Maybe when their government gets involved and banish these damn barbaric laws that entertain the bartering of women and young girls and start protecting them

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-11-10 09:34

    Aaargh - always the girls and women have to pay!!! See what happens if we use traditional courts? We have to fight tooth and nail to keep ourselves in the 21st century - We want no traditional courts and savage justice system - barbaric laws administered by barbarians in this day and age - I hope the ANC Womens League stand up to their masters and fight against traditional courts - this will happen to our young girls....

  • durell.dunn - 2012-12-03 13:23

    Blinded by religion and culture - what a disgusting practise

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