Two Vani girls stopped from starting life anew -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Two Vani girls stopped from starting life anew

MIANWALI, March 21, 2006: Two Vani sisters could not get married again in the Daudkhel village on Sunday March 19 even after getting a divorce from a court.

In 1990, a Punchayat had given them to a family in compensation (Vani) for the killing of a man by their father. Reportedly, Amanullah Khan, the father of the girls, killed Attaullah Khan over a land dispute in April 1985.

The deceased left a widow and five children, including two boys, while the killer had three daughters. Amanullah surrendered to police after four years and was awarded the death sentence by a sessions court. Before his execution, a Punchayat was held in 1990.

As per the decision of the elders and the father of the convict, Rs 250,000 and two daughters of the convict were to be given in compensation to the family of the deceased. Kalsoom Bibi (6) was given to Ikramullah (10) and Nusrat Bibi (8) to Shafaullah (12).

Fortunately, Kalsoom and Nusrat continued their studies and did their graduation, but their “childhood grooms” did not go to school. In 2001, the girls requested the SP through the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) to save them from their “husbands”, who were threatening to kidnap them.

The grooms filed a case in a civil court under the “conjugal rights”. The court not only dismissed their plea but also freed the girls under the Khula Act. The victim family demanded Rs 700,000 (as diyat/qasas) and threatened they would take revenge if the demand was not made.

Later, the mother of the girls arranged their marriage with two educated youths. At the time of the Nikkah, someone from the brides’ side told the Nikkah Khawan (a person who solemnises marriage) that the girls were already married and given to the victim family as Vani.

The Nikkah Khawan refused to solemnise their Nikkah and the would-be grooms had to return home. Ikramullah and Shafaullah were snubbed and scolded by their elders when they persisted to take away their “brides” who had got a divorce from the court.

HRCP district coordinator Khalil-ur-Rehman advocate tried to persuade both parties, but to no avail as the people refused to hear anything “un-Islamic”. It is not the first case of its kind here.

Many girls grow old due to their “childhood Nikkah” when their “Vani spouses” refused to divorce them. It’s due to a lack of education that people commit crime and then give their daughters to victim families as Vani.

Khalil-ur-Rehman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and Ziaullah Khan of the Karwan Community Development Organisation have appealed to President Gen Pervez Musharraf, the prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, and the Punjab chief minister, Ch Pervaiz Elahi, to create awareness among the masses and punish people who demand girls in compensation.
Source: The News
Date:3/21/2006