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70-year-old groom, 13-year-old bride arrested after marriage

Updated Apr 07, 2014 10:18am


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File photo.
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NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: A 70-year-old man and his 13-year-old bride were arrested in a raid in Zubair Panhwar village within the remit of the Tharushah police station on Saturday evening. The bride’s father, Nikah registrar and witnesses were also arrested.

Tharushah SHO Aijaz Ali said after receiving information about the marriage of an under-age girl, he along with his team raided the place where the wedding ceremony was in progress. He said the 70-year-old groom, Syed Mohammad Ali Shah, his 13-year-old bride, Sonia Shah, the Nikah registrar, Maulvi Miral Shah, the bride’s father, Syed Mehdi Shah, and witnesses Mumtaz Shah and Khuda Bukhsh Shah were arrested.

Syed Mehdi Shah told the media that he had to agree on the marriage against a sum of Rs100,000. He said he needed the money to meet the expenses of the construction of a room in his small house.

However, the old man said he had paid Rs50,000 to Mehdi Shah to enable him to arrange for dowry, etc. He said it was his third marriage and the two wives lived with him. “Mehdi Shah is my relative and no one had any objection over the third marriage,” he added.

Meanwhile, the family members and the guests invited by the elderly groom staged a protest against the police raid and arrests outside the Tharushah police station on Sunday.

They demanded release of all arrested people, claiming that Syed Mohammad Ali Shah was being subjected to torture in custody.

SP Niaz Chandio told Dawn on Sunday evening that the SHO had been transferred. He said he had ordered medical check-up of the groom to see if he was tortured.

The SP said the arrested persons would be produced before a magistrate in Bhiria City on Monday.


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Comments (87) Closed

Ravi Dallas TX Apr 07, 2014 10:35am

This should stop. India used to have child marriages (still in some remote places may be), however it is always similar age bride and groom. Child marriages are inhuman irrespective of the religion.

BRR Apr 07, 2014 10:49am

The father sells his daughter for 50K rupees to build a new room - such a loving father. the 70 year old man marries a child bride, although he already has 2 other wives. What kind of life is he going to offer this child - one of slavery and harsh treatment. How many wives does an old man need to feed his ego? Where is love and honor in all this? Humanity seems to be degenerating in Pakistan.

illawarrior Apr 07, 2014 10:52am

Great to see some action taken on this matter

Omar Apr 07, 2014 11:15am

Well done! Congratulations to the police force and SHO Aijaz Ali for acting promptly. They should show the picture of the 70 year old man and the so called Maulvi as well so people can see stupidity in its true form.

Tahir Apr 07, 2014 11:43am

If the same couple were having an illegal affair it would be encouraged by the enlightened society as a personal issue and an act of freedom for consenting individuals.

jen Apr 07, 2014 11:56am

The girl child was also arrested??!! I hope this information needs confirmation. It cannot and should,'t be.

gerry d'cunha Apr 07, 2014 01:39pm

If all this is accepted in shariah law - so what's the problem?

M. Emad Apr 07, 2014 01:43pm

This incident reflects current Pakistan. Mediaval ideology, encouraged-accumulated over 70-years in the society, now engulf the democratic-secular ideas.

Jaraj Apr 07, 2014 02:13pm

Hopefully the ghairat brigade's ghairat will get challenged by this.

Tilikum Apr 07, 2014 02:46pm

@Tahir: No ! that would be statutory rape and the old man will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Harbhajan Apr 07, 2014 03:18pm

A shocking story, I don't think a girl child of 13 knows the meaning of a marriage and a 70 year old broom already having two wives marrying such a small child is not a crime but something worst than that. One cannot belief that sharia allows this. Kudos to the SHO.

vin Apr 07, 2014 03:47pm

@Ravi Dallas TX: In india marriages between two child's were only limited to Rajasthan and adjoing places. It came with coming of islam in india. Child marriage was the reason for Akbar to renounce islam and start a new religion. Child marriages are abolish in india except among indian musims. Arabs used to come to india for child marriages for many years. Like india it is acceptable among Pakistani muslims as part of their culture and religion.

TUNG Apr 07, 2014 04:00pm

@Tahir: yes because the girl in that situation wouldnt be in distresses, wudnt have been forced into it, and wouldnt have any problem in having marital relations with that guy

Arif Apr 07, 2014 04:01pm

@jen: She should not be arrested but she cannot be left with her parents.. we should not forget that the actual culprits are her parents... she should be taken into custody and left in some place where she can get education and proper guidance. Though I am not sure if any such institution exists in Pakistan.. Edhi++ are ok but after all they are Kherati-Idaray

Ghost Apr 07, 2014 04:13pm

This is something, Shariah does not discourage.

Bakhtawer Bilal Apr 07, 2014 04:18pm

@Tahir: You may not be knowing, that even consenting, if someone is underage, it will be considered illegal.

Sameer Apr 07, 2014 04:18pm

@Tahir: Are you out of your mind? Who would approve of an affair (child abuse) with a child? Anyone who approves of this "marriage (aka child abuse)" or "affair (aka child abuse)" should be punished to the strictest form.

See key word "child abuse", just cause you call it marriage or affair doesn't change the underlying point that this is child abuse.

Sameer Apr 07, 2014 04:20pm

@gerry d'cunha: The problem is, this is forbidden in country's law and i as well as most of Pakistanis agree with this law.

M Apr 07, 2014 04:39pm

@Tahir: "illegal affair"? You do know that underage marriage is banned in Pakistan, right? I mean, any kind of romantic/sexual relationship between a minor and an adult (especially one who is six times her age!) is counted as abuse/statutory rape.

The "enlightened society" that you hate so much would not have supported this. Anybody with a sense of humanity would not have supported this.

What is wrong with you?

zindabad PAK Apr 07, 2014 04:43pm

Thats awful to consider. this guy and all allyging bodies should not escape and take stringent action so that they can never practice such unethical , illegal, tottally against the humanity.

khanm Apr 07, 2014 04:51pm

There are no such laws which prohibit the couple to get married

Roxana R Apr 07, 2014 05:26pm

@Tahir: Unacceptable to consider a 13 year old as able to consent to anything. She is not accountable for what was decided on her behalf by her father or the "bridegroom." She is not a piece of property. She is a human being, far too young for marriage or motherhood, and her new "husband" is far to old to be impregnating anyone due to the mental and physical problems that can cause the infant.

shah Apr 07, 2014 06:17pm

Astaghfirullah. The CII is okay with this arrangement but then they are uncivilized fools.

Seedoo Apr 07, 2014 06:34pm

Societies that enforce segregation and force women behind veil, burqa, etc. also condone child marriages. This is the only way for a few perverted pious men to act out their sexual fantasies in a legal way and not get caught and be branded as a child molester.

But to all those Pakistani friends who would die to see Sharia law being implemented in Pakistan as per the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah/Hadith, what is wrong with a 70 year old man marrying a 13 old girl? Why are you people opposing this practice? Can someone please enlighten me?

Vivek Chouksey Apr 07, 2014 06:39pm

Why arrest bride? Isn't she the victim? They'd have mercilessly beaten her if she dared to protest.

Babar Khan Apr 07, 2014 06:52pm

@Tahir: Unbelievable. Your concern seems to be stopping "illegal sexual activites" and you dont seem to have any moral qualms about a 70 year old man buying a 13 year old girl for 50,000 rupees so her father can build himself a room!!!!! I think we have TOTALLY lost touch with our humanity.

AHA Apr 07, 2014 07:58pm

@Tahir: You need to broaden your horizon beyond what you hear from our religious 'scholars'.

In the West, any sexual relationship with a minor is a statutory rape. There are no ifs and buts to this law.

M. Siddique Apr 07, 2014 09:34pm

Put Mullah Shirani of CII in jail also. He is the prepetrator of this crime.

Obaid Apr 07, 2014 10:20pm

@Tahir: How many 13 year old girls have you heard of having affairs with 70 year old men? Stop defending these child marriages. These are serious problems in our culture which we need to eradicate.

Ishfaq Muhammad Apr 07, 2014 10:56pm

@Tahir Be patient and think if this girl would have been ur sister? then what would be your point. Please think with head and act accrodingly.

honest belief Apr 07, 2014 11:11pm

Why was the SHO transferred? He did his duty as as per the law. The DIG should take the SP to task for transferring the SHO. Law must prevail.

independentthinker Apr 08, 2014 12:43am

See, that is a simple solution! If our law enforcement officers continue to conduct these types of raids and arrest the perpetrators, you will see this type of crime will go down, if not completely eliminated. Whether these types of atrocities are committed in urban or rural areas of Pakistan, the same law should apply. Very soon, we will see the rights of all Pakistanis will be protected and violators will be prosecuted.

Mustafa Apr 08, 2014 12:55am

The twin malaise of poverty and illiteracy is rooted in the feudal system. The children of Waderas go to Oxford and Cambridge but return to their own self when they come back to roost.

Pramod Apr 08, 2014 01:07am

SHO did commendable job by taking swift action but it was unfortunate that he had to pay the price for doing his duty. it was really shocking to see girl's parent were involved in such act.

@Tahir an affair with a 13 year old may happen but it is not because of love but by taking the advantage of imaturity of minor and that is why such affair in most of the countries(except few) it is considered as rape and not consent. Marrying a 13 year old with 70 year will definitely increases adultery because after few years when girl will be a fully grown woman. Her husband will not able to give her the physical satisfaction.

Kamran Apr 08, 2014 01:15am

@Ghost:Shariah practiced is 500 years old.. Even in those times, Shariah was constantly modified based on the need of the time ( just like present day law). Times have changed and so should the laws in Shariah.. Cant implement past system in times of today

Kamran Apr 08, 2014 01:17am

@Vivek Chouksey: this may have been done to protect her. I cant believe what kind of other family pressure this poor girl would be subjected to at her home. Time to wake up people of Pakistan

Saifur rahman Apr 08, 2014 01:26am

Law can't prevent these sorts of incidents, people has to change, culture has to change, mentality has to change.

Sarwat Apr 08, 2014 01:36am

Good job Police and please get this innocent her freedom.

Schnurr Apr 08, 2014 03:34am

@Tahir: Actually, no. An enlightened society has a protection age. For many countries it is 16, for an increasing number it is 18. Means: No one can legally have a consenting relationship with an under 16 or under 18 year old without facing sex crime charges. Exceptions are usually foreseen if the two are the same age (often with no more than 2 years difference). It still remains problematic, but consent is more likely assumed between two 16-year olds or even a 16 and a 14 year old than between a child and a grownup. Disgusting.

So no - no one finds a relationship between an old man and a child enlightening or consenting in any way. Except for some so-called "traditional" societies.

Saeed Apr 08, 2014 08:16am

Good Job! Such inhuman actions should always be dealt with an iron hand. Bride and parents of girl in this case should be awarded maximal punishment.

Shahryar Shirazi Apr 08, 2014 08:30am

What a stone age like behavior. Speechless. Shahryar

Vince V James Apr 08, 2014 09:08am


This 70 year old and her parents should be locked up for the rest of their lives. There will be no need for the father to build a new room then. You people need to cleanse your country from those very sick individuals like Tahir and others who support this vile act.

mirza Apr 08, 2014 09:12am


Arsha Apr 08, 2014 09:17am

@Tahir: Which society would encourage that? In west the guy would have been arrested on grounds of statutory rape of a minor.

SK Apr 08, 2014 09:48am

@BRR: illiteracy is a curse upon this nation and its deliberately promoted I might add just for hegemony and control of elite power.

Khanm Apr 08, 2014 10:23am

@Sarwat: failed to understand on what charges the couple were arrested with. As per our sheria law there is no minimum age for a girl to get married. besides the man is adult and have no restriction as such by any laws,rules and regulation... with this logic it is going to be thrown out of the court in no time... and the police have to save their faces...Again i would repeat please pass the law in national assembly. build the courage to stop this menace in our society..if they fail to do that don't reelect them...

Ossy Apr 08, 2014 04:37pm

I cannot comment on Sharia as I do not have adequate knowledge - probably neither do a lot of commentators below. In such cases, one should abstain from dragging Sharia into a debate.

What I do know is mal-intent when I see it. A 13-year old child is being SOLD to a 70-year old budha. If it is being done hiding behind religion and Nikah-nama, then the parents of the child, the maulvi, and the groom need to be given exemplery and adequate punishment. I am 100% sure there are very strict laws in Pakistan against child trafficking and child slavery.

Someone Somewhere Apr 08, 2014 05:02pm

@Tahir: What is the probability of having a affair between 13 years old girl and 70 years old man? I guess odds are quite high in Pakistan.

zafarov Apr 08, 2014 05:15pm

@Tahir: The correct term is "consenting adults''. A 13 year old girl is a child. and to assume that she is in a position to make informed decisions in matters related to sex is downright insane. The real problem is that you and those who recommended your post can't discern the difference.

bill Apr 08, 2014 07:01pm

New room in the house versus daughters future life. No contest really. These people have no concept of family life, especially when females are concerned.. They are just a commodity

muhammad Apr 08, 2014 07:30pm

@Tahir: Can you call it a couple ? are you in your senses ?

Cilla Apr 08, 2014 07:34pm

@Ravi Dallas TX: Which 13 year old girl wants a 70 year old husband. At that age all you want to do is play with your Barbie doll and eat ice cream. Disgusting......

muhammad Apr 08, 2014 07:42pm

@Khanm: Law is already there please read it carefully

bicky Apr 08, 2014 08:10pm

@Tahir: Yes ofcourse, !!! This is Islam in action, great grandad marrying his granddaughter. LOL

Mohammad Ali Apr 08, 2014 08:12pm

Yet another illustrious example of human disgrace. I ask Mullahs to stop promoting this kind of farce as Islamic act.

gagan sarkar Apr 08, 2014 08:33pm

All the guests should be stripped naked and caned on their butts so that nobody have the courage to attend a child wedding.

XYX Apr 08, 2014 09:17pm


I am not sure how you think we can change Shariah? Quran has defined the way of living and that is what Shariah is can you change that?

Giri Apr 08, 2014 09:23pm

Don't be so hard on @Tahir. He just follows Zakir Naik who says that polygamy is good for the society to stop illegal affairs of the women. I am not sure how Zakir Naik came to that conclusion. What about the illegal affairs of the other wives as the husband is more busy with his favourite 13yr old wife? Someone asked @Tahir what if the girl is his sister. I would say he will gladly offer the girl to the man in the name of honour or else there will be a honour killing for opposing.

Musarrat Javed Apr 09, 2014 12:06am

@Tahir: Sir Please there is no modern enlighten here. 13 year old girl is like a grand daughter for this man and he is trying to marry her its madness. Really shame on him. I am proud to be secular and modern enlightened but for me and thousands of other secular like believe this is crim. Such a madness and you are trying to find element of conspiracy in it really sad. Please no religion here just humanity. Just look this is her age to play and go to school not to be a 3rd wife. Be afraid of God.

independentthinker Apr 09, 2014 01:45am

@Saifur rahman: And who - might I ask - will change the people, change the mentality and change the culture? Unless laws are in place to criminalize these acts, nothing will change. Yes, they need to bring strict laws and enforce them, with serious consequences, when someone gets caught breaking them!

independentthinker Apr 09, 2014 01:47am

@Tahir: A 70 year old having an "Illegal" affair with a 13 year old? Are you serious? It is individuals like you that make me completely hopeless about the future of Pakistan.

independentthinker Apr 09, 2014 01:48am

@gerry d'cunha: If it is accepted in the Shariah law, then the law must be changed. We can't have such laws be practiced in the name of religion!

independentthinker Apr 09, 2014 01:50am

@Ghost: Maybe Shariah does not discourage - but Allah surely would!

Raj Apr 09, 2014 04:58am

@Ravi Dallas TX: Ravi,

Child marriage anywhere including India is wrong, but it's between same age boy and girl, not 70 year old man and 13 year old girl.

This article is quite different, Compare in right context. Raj

Raj Apr 09, 2014 05:00am

I read comments by readers as " well done" and other accolades of this action. What about root cause of such practice, remember a 54 year old marrying 6 year old some time back in history?

Do you have guts to condem that?

Raj Apr 09, 2014 06:20am

@Ghost: Absolutely, Sharia law does not permit this. It gives the right to a man to marry more than one, but on some certain conditions (read the Islamic sharia law for knowledge). People just give so many destructive explanation without going into the depth of knowledge. Specially for those who are not Muslims, unfortunately they relate all the ugly things going in the world to Islam. My wife is catholic and I am Muslim. Since we live together for a long time. now she realizes that all these talks against one religion and one community is not true, IF SOMEBODY DOES CRIME, HE MUST GO FOR TRIAL, NOT HIS RELIGION OR HIS ETHNIC BACKGROUND.

ordinaryPerson Apr 09, 2014 06:30am

What is the definition of child? Who define the acceptable age of human being for marriage? and based on what? And what should a person do to fulfill his/her desires? suffer or illegitimate?

We as a society and individuals need to ask these question from us and not just blindly follow someone. For us muslims: Did our creator and Prophet (salalahu alahi wasalam) has any guidance on this? Did we ever tried to find about it? Did it happen during Prophet (salalahu alahi wasalam) times? If approved by him - then it is totally right. If the prophet (salalahu alahi wasalam) disapproved it then it is wrong.

Because he speaks what is revealed to him from our Creator. And I believe out Creator rules and guidance are always better for the creation because HE created us. It is that simple and easy.

Ask yourself these questions and get those answers before commenting.

ssf Apr 09, 2014 07:29am

@Tahir: You are wrong by saying that if the couple were to have illigal affair it would be considered by enlightened society as personal issue...... I don't know if you are aware that in most "enlightened" societies, it is a major crime to either to marry or have an affair with a child and child is defined as a teenager. Pl. do some research before commenting.

Usman Khan Apr 09, 2014 10:10am

Pakistan must sort itself out...the entire world is watching...Don't ruin your image by allowing such things to continue...Take a strong stand and condemn it, create and enforce a minimum age law...16 at least, common sense must prevail

satwinder Apr 09, 2014 11:07am

This is the nature of human to take the benefits of religious ideology (shariya or other religions laws etc) for his selfishness. We never think on the basis of humanity. Very rare human being are there who uses the religion ideology respective of their religion for humanity acts and to improve the society. Both parties, old man and the girls parents are responsible for such a heinous act and should be punish accordingly to avoid such incident future.

Adil Jadoon Apr 09, 2014 12:12pm

@gerry d'cunha: Not really.

Adil Jadoon Apr 09, 2014 12:13pm

@M. Emad: Wrong. These practices were there for centuries and will remain. Hardly the norm though, thankfully.

SUNNY Apr 09, 2014 01:04pm


Kesar Apr 09, 2014 02:14pm

@Tahir: You need the help of a psychiatrist just like the old man and most of the pakistan's society.

mohammad Apr 09, 2014 02:58pm

@Ghost: very stupid act done by 70 years old man,have shame on is face..

Khalid Apr 09, 2014 04:44pm

70 year old man was arrested and that sounds fair. Why was the 13 year old child arrested?. Who allowed the child to be arrested?. She is a CHILD. I really don't understand this. I bet you some Maulana in Pakistan, will find a valid reason for all this and will also try to convince everybody else that sort of activity is allowed in Islam.

Khalid Apr 09, 2014 04:50pm

@Tahir: You sound like the creation of a Madrassa. Consenting individuals?. Shouldn't it be consenting adults?. A 13 year old child was going to be molested by a 70 year old man and this hasn't made you sick?. I am amazed at your ignorance. Would you say the same thing if she was your sister, daughter?.

jafri Apr 09, 2014 06:38pm

@Tahir: No it wouldn't have been encouraged, she is under age, that is statutory rape.

jafri Apr 09, 2014 06:43pm

@M. Emad: Actually in "current Pakistan" marriage age for men and women both has been rising overall, these cases though still far too many are not the norm.

jafri Apr 09, 2014 06:46pm

@Harbhajan: "70 year old broom": you hit the nail on the head with the (presumably) typo!

jafri Apr 09, 2014 07:00pm

@Ravi Dallas TX: Child and teen marriages were the norm in early times all over the world. Juliet was 14at the time of her love affair , Marie Antoinette 14 and King Tut even younger when they married presumably not according to Shariah law but their own country's law. The fact is that life expectancy before the 20th century was so low marriage took place sooner. Islam did not introduce child marriage in India anymore than it introduced Sati or the caste system.

jafri Apr 09, 2014 07:03pm

@vin: Sorry, the comment I meant for vin was sent in reply to Ravi Dallas TX by mistake. It was intended for vin's comments on the introduction of child marriage by Islam in India

Ram Narayanan Apr 09, 2014 11:34pm

Why should the poor girl be arrested? She is the victim in this crime.

khanm Apr 10, 2014 10:41am

Reading all the comments.. I can draw this conclusion, we are totally drifting from the logic, and it is or more or less like a religious bashing competition

insomniac Apr 10, 2014 03:54pm

@Tahir: to be consenting couple, they both needs to be above 18 yrs

A Apr 10, 2014 04:20pm

@ordinaryPerson: You said about not to follow blindly and in next sentence you say that if someone religious authority had done it than it is right otherwise wrong. Isn't it blindly following??

Age for consent is decided by groups of sociologists, philanthropists and medical practitioners.

Azmat Khan Apr 10, 2014 04:26pm

Well done police.The culprits must be punished