10 Arrested for Giving a Minor Girl in Swara- A Child Marriage Custom in Tribal Areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan

In Mingora, 10 members of the jirga for giving a 10-year-old girl in swara to resolve a family dispute at Kargaey Dherai area of Madyan.

The police reported that they raided a jigra which was resolving a dispute between the two families by giving away a little girl in swara.

Mohammad Ali, the SHO of Madyan police station said,“Muzamil Shah had an illicit affair with Noreena, daughter of Ajab Khan who was already engaged and was going to marry next week. The affair triggered tension between the two families and a jirga was convened at the residence of Muzamil to resolve the dispute. Zabiha, 10, daughter of Muzamil was given in swara to Ajab Khan to settle the score.”

Eight members of the jirga, including the nikah khwan, were arrested while the raids were being conducted to arrest three more people involved in the case.

Humaira Shaukat, a lawyer, said under section 310-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (PPC) swara was an offence because it is a penal offence in which the violators shall be punished from three to ten years of imprisonment.

Under this law, the police are empowered to arrest the guilty persons without warrants.