The rural areas of Pakistan are still ruled by the tribal mentality that their ancestors left them with. In the village of Jampur in the southern part of the province of Punjab, a fourteen year old girl, Saima, was married off to a man who is unable to hear or speak and has a mind that cannot grow out of the child like state.
Saima’s father, Wazir Ahmed, wanted to marry Ramzan’s sister who only agreed to marry him on the condition that he had to marry one of his daughters to her brother so someone could take care of him after she left the house. Wazir Ahmed confirmed Saima’s marriage to Ramzan and the deal was done.
Such deals are very commonly found in the rural parts of Pakistan. A lot of it has to do with the way the feudal lords are still controlling much of the population by allowing them to work on their lands and keeping them away from education and a free earning.
Such deals of giving and taking of daughters and sisters are the most inhumane practices found in Pakistan and the problem persists because people think this is a part of their religion and God’s will. The reaching of puberty in these areas qualifies a girl to get married.
Wazir Ahmed’s first wife had only bore him daughters and due to the fact that he wanted a son, he remarried Ramzan’s sister while giving him his own daughter in exchange. Women are constantly objectified in these areas. Saima’s own mother wanted her to get married as soon as possible. This is because girls who reach puberty are considered a nuisance in these areas. The fear of leaving them home alone and the girl running away with someone of her own choice is considered a great shame to the family.
There was a police investigation done in this case though, where Ramzan and Wazir were arrested, but Saima herself gave testimony that she was 16 when she was married and not under the legal age, so the men were let go. After all, the only choice she has now is to protect and do the best she can for her husband. The girl who could have been playing with dolls and receiving an education at her age was betrothed to a disabled man that she cannot understand by her own father for the sake of getting a male heir for the family.
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