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Pakistan police rescue underage girl from getting married to 72-year-old man, groom arrested

Pakistan police rescue underage girl from getting married to 72-year-old man, groom arrested

Authorities in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, intervened to prevent the marriage of a 12-year-old girl to a 72-year-old man. Police arrested Habib Khan and the nikah registrar involved in the arrangement. However, Alam Syed managed to evade capture. Both the 72-year-old groom and the girl's father have been charged under the Child Marriage Restraint Act.

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Authorities in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, intervened to prevent the marriage of a 12-year-old girl to a 72-year-old man, as reported by the Express Tribune.

The girl's father, Alam Syed, had allegedly agreed to sell his daughter to Habib Khan, the elderly groom, for 500,000 Pakistani rupees.

Police arrested Habib Khan and the nikah registrar involved in the arrangement. However, Alam Syed managed to evade capture. Both the 72-year-old groom and the girl's father have been charged under the Child Marriage Restraint Act.

Pakistan has one of the world's highest rates of child marriage, with about 30% of girls married before the age of 18. Despite the legal marriage age being 16, enforcement is weak. The Child Marriage Restraint Act, a relic from British rule, prescribes only up to one month of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000, insufficient to act as a deterrent.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is among the provinces yet to enact stricter laws against child marriage. According to UNICEF, 18.9 million girls in Pakistan marry before 18, and 4.6 million before turning 16.

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Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Jun 16, 2024