HRCP slams marrying off under-age girls to settle tribal disputes through a jirga near the Sindh-Balochistan border

HRCP slams marrying off under-age girls to settle tribal disputes through a jirga held in Chach village near the Sindh-Balochistan border

 

Press Release, June 2, 2008

 

Karachi: While strongly demanding the immediate arrest of all those who participated in the jirga and of those as well who agreed to the trading of the minor girls for settlement of a tribal feud – both heinous crimes, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expressed strong disapproval of the agreement between the Chakrani and Qalandari tribesmen on Friday, May 30, to settle a blood feud between the two tribes.

 

According to the information gathered by a fact-finding team of HRCP, the eight-year-old dispute was settled between the two Bugti tribes – Chakrani and Qalandrani, in a jirga held in Chach village near the Sindh-Balochistan border. This tribal feud had claimed the lives of 17 Qalandaris including 5 women and 3 Chakranis.  The jirga decided to implement a decision reportedly announced by Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti in 2002, according to which the Chakrani tribe will pay a fine of Rs. 45 lacs and marry off 15 girls irrespective of their ages.  The fact-finding team found out that Shar Badag, Aishi Khan and Sohbat Khan of Qalandrani tribe and Noor Ali, Mir Khan and Shahnwaz of Chakrani tribe participated in the jirga.  According to the Kashmore-Kandhkot DPO Mohammad Younus Chandio, so far it could not be ascertained that the jirga was held in the province of Sindh or Balochistan.  Most of the tribesmen of the two tribes lived in Dera Bugti and Jafarabad in Balochistan and there were only a few houses in Sindh, the DPO added.

 

HRCP demands that the provincial government take immediate action against all those responsible for the illegal and inhuman decisions and ensure immediate release of the minor girls.

 

Iqbal Haider, Co-Chairperson

 

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