Plea to save minor girl from forced marriage
By Qurban Ali Khushik
DADU: The family of a six-year-old girl on Monday accused a feudal lord of their area of holding a jirga and deciding to give the girl in marriage to their rivals to settle a dispute over karo-kari.
Father of Sughra Jamali, 6, Peeral Jamali, mother Sharifan and aunt Hawa of Tori village who staged a protest outside the Johi press club appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to direct police to protect Sughra’s life who, they feared, would be married to an aged man if they handed her over to them.
Peeral told journalists that the feudal lord Mohammad Khan Jangwani held a jirga in Tando Rahim Yar Khan 45 days ago, which declared his son Ibrahim Jamali as karo and charged him with having illicit relations with one Zahida Jamali belonging to their rival group.
He said that the jirga decided that nine acres land, Rs250,000 cash and a girl (Sughra) would be given in marriage to Zahida’s relatives, Ghulam Haider and Gul Hassan Jamali as fine. He was ready to pay cash and give land but he would never hand over his daughter to the rivals, he said.
Sughra’s mother, Sharifan said how could she marry her six-year-old daughter to a much older man belonging to their rivals. She appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari to direct police to protect her daughter.
Hawa Jamali, Sughra’s aunt, said that their rivals were threatening that if they did not hand them over Sughra for marriage they would kidnap her. They were so poor that they could not protect her and as usual local police were not giving them any help, she complained.
When this scribe talked to Mohammad Khan Jingwani, he avoided using the word jirga and admitted that he had held a meeting of notables from both warring groups to settle a karo-kari dispute but he had not announced any decision to hand over Sughra in marriage. It was not a jirga, it was a meeting of notables, he insisted.