Vani a serious crime: Chief Justice
ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice lftikhar MohamÂmed Chaudhry Thursday reasÂserted that “Vani” is a serious crime and it was tragic that girls are exchanged in our society as Badle Sullah (compromise chip). Chairing a two-member bench of the apex court along with Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad, Chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry reiterated that no one would be allowed to “Vani” a girl. According to the retrogressive tradition of Vani, girls are exchanged between groups and clans to settle the blood feuds in several parts of Punjab including Mianwali. Hearing such an issue on a suo moto notice, the apex court was informed by Punjab Assistant Advocate General Khadim Hussain Qaiser that three Women, namely Khatoon Bibi,
Naheed and Alam Khatoon were given as Vani to settle a feud between the two clans in Mianwali after a murder in 1984. All the three women were given to the aggrieved party as Badle Sullah after the decision made by a local Punchayat, the AAG added. It is interesting to note that the girls who were given as “Vani” were born after the murder, which was bone of contention between the warring clans. One of these girls, Alam Khatoon later became mother of five children out of the relationship that she was formed after being declared “Vani” while her husband also died in following years. The court summoned Alam Khatoon but she could not turn up as being unwell. Appearing before the august bench on court notice, Nabeed, another Vani victim, stated that she was happy with the relation and sought divorce as the knot was tied against her will. Chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry remarked that such a Punchayat, which. traded girls, as “Vani” was illegal and all such traditions were unacceptable. Directing the spouses of Khatoon and Naheed and their parents to appear in person before the court, the august bench adjourned hearing for today (Friday). Meanwhile, the same bench disposed of an issue regarding rape of a girl Faiza after SP Investigation Ashfaq Ahmed Khan submitted a report about the arrest of all alleged rapists except for one. Shamirn Akhtar, mother of the victim, had moved the court through an application after her daughter was raped by some official of Sabzi Mandi police station when she approached them with a complaint of sexual assault.