Police on Wednesday registered a case against 17 people involved in vani in Bhakkar District of southern Punjab.
‘Vani’ is a conservative custom which offers young girls as brides in compensation to settle disputes.
The incident took place at Darya Khan area of Bhakkar district where a panchayat (local court) of elders had declared a seven-year-old girl vani in order to pay for “misdeed” of her brother.
“Local ‘punchayat’ gave a seven-year-old girl to a man in marriage as vani for the crime committed by her brother Imran”, a police official told local media.
The girl’s brother Imran had eloped with wife of man named Ghaffar and married her illegally. In return, local court ordered to tie the knot of Imran’s sister with Ghaffar.
Offering young girls as brides in compensation to settle disputes persists in many areas of the country.
Earlier, similar incident reported in Swat Valley of KP where five-year-old girl Saneeda was accosted by her estranged father, who wanted her to marry a man to settle a debt of “honor”.
A few months earlier, Saneeda’s father Ali Ahmed had eloped with a girl from another valley. To avoid violent revenge from her family, he promised to give them his daughter and niece Sapna in marriage.
In Swat the practice is known as “swara” but called vani in Punjab and Sindh.