Pakistan: Running short of goats?
Don’t worry — you can pay your debts in children.
Last month, a blood feud between two battling tribes in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan province was settled by a tribal “Jirga” (assembly of elders) that decided to hand over as many as 13 young girls in “vani” – an age-old tribal custom that gives females in marriage to males of another tribal group to settle a dispute…
Nabi also alledged that Mir Tariq’s guards held a man from his tribe hostage till all 13 girls were handed over along with a Rs3 million (about $30,000) fine.
Child marriage – known as “swara” in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, “vani” in Punjab, “sang chati” in Sindh, and “vani” and “lajai” in Balochistan – are enacted in disturbingly large swathes of Pakistan and reinforced by customs that treat women as commodities.
Despite the fact that Pakistan is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, which refers to early marriage as the marriage of people less than 18 years of age, 30 per cent of all marriages in the country fall in the category of child marriages, according to the Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan.
I wonder what the exchange rate is?