Seventy-year old man arrested for marrying under-aged girl in Swat

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SWAT: A 70-year-old man married a 13-year-old girl in Nagoha area of Barikot Tehsil in Swat district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He has eight children and several grandchildren.

The girl, a student of grade six, informs Voicepk that she found out about her marriage to the old man on her way back from school. “When I reached home, my family told me to dress up as I had an event to attend.”

She adds, “I don’t know what marriage is. I will never marry this old man.”

The registrar has issued the marriage certificate signed by witnesses. The police have arrested four people, including the 70-year-old groom, the girl’s parents and two witnesses. Nikahkhawan obtained bail from the court before arrest.

District Police Officer Dr Zahidullah, while talking to Voicepk, says that marrying a 13-year-old girl is a legal offense, and the accused will be brought to justice.

Tabassum Adnan, chairperson of a jirga that works for women’s rights in Swat, says her organisation has handled many cases of marriage of under-aged girls. “The rate of under-aged marriages is increasing in Swat. Strict measures must be taken urgently to prevent such a crime.”

She thinks that it is cruel for an old man to marry a 13-year-old girl. “If a 70-year-old person dies, then what will be fate of this innocent girl? Will her family marry her off again to another old man?”

Acknowledgement: Published in Voice.pk on 13 May 2024

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