2 Nov 2008

Pakistani police break up marriage between 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy

Mohammad Ismil (C) holds his 7-year old son Mohammad Waseem (R) and his son's 4-year old "bride" Nisha (L) at a police station in Karachi, Pakistan

Pakistani police raided a child marriage ceremony in the city of Karachi and arrested a cleric who was presiding over the wedding of a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy.

Pakistani law says people must be 18 to marry but some Islamic laws allow girls to marry after puberty.

Yet despite the laws, young girls are often given away in marriage to settle disputes or pay off debts.

Police said they raided a house on Thursday evening following complaints from residents, including a former district government official, who said the girl was being married off by her father for about 500,000 rupees (£3,750).

The official told Reuters: 'We had noticed some gatherings at this house for a couple of days.

'Last night I went there and saw that the little girl was actually getting married. So we called the police.'

Some other residents said the marriage was taking place to resolve a long-standing family dispute. Police said they had arrested the boy's father but the girl's father had run away.

SOURCE: Dailymail

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