Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Women in Pakistan

Last but not least from today’s Kuwait Times are two articles from recent news in Pakistan, both involving women and the men who (seem to) own them:

Police Seek Pakistanis Pressing Woman to Hand Over Her Daughter

Karachi: Police are seeking ten men, including several tribal elders, accused of pressuring a Pakistani woman to hand over her teenage daughter as payment for a 16 year old poker debt, officials said yesterday.

In the latest case highlighting how conservative customs threaten women’s rights in Pakistan, Nooran Umrani alleges that despite paying off her late husband’s debt of 10,000 Pakistani rupees, she was threatened with harm if she failed to hand over her daughter, Rasheeda. The 17 year old was to be surrendered as a bride for the son of Lal Haider, the man who won the card game years before, Umrani told reporters . . . Police said yesterday that the mother and daughter were in their protection and that an investigation was opened against Haider, his son, and eight others. . .

Nooran said her husband was a gambler who ran up the debt at a poker game when Rasheeda was 1 year old. He promised Haider that he would get Rasheeda in lieu of payment when she grew up, Nooran said. . . .

President General Pervez Musharraf has vowed to give women more rights in line with his policy to project Pakistan as a moderate, progressive Islamic nation. In December, Musharraf signed into law a bill that makes it easier to prosecute rape cases in the courts, and the country’s ruling party recently introduced a bill to outlaw forced marriages, including under tribal custom in which woman are married off in order to settle disputes.

My comment: The debt was paid. And what was the father thinking?? giving away his daughter to cover his debts? I can’t wrap my mind around it.

Pakistani Sells Wife’s Kidney to Buy Tractor

Karachi: Pakistani police have arrested two men after a village woman complained that her husband and relatives had sold one of her kidneys in order to buy a tractor, police said yesterday. Although her kidney had been removed 18 months earlier, the woman named Safia only learnt it was missing after seeking treatment for a urinary tract problem in January. “She had said she was three months pregnant when her husband, Shakeel Ahmed beat her and then took her to the hospital for treatment,” said Mohammad Akram, duty officer at Noushera Jadeed police station in Punjab province. “But at the hospital, her husband, in connivance with three other people, sold her kidney to buy the tractor,” he said. Unlike many other parts of the world, including neighboring India, there is no law in Pakistan banning the trade in organs. Poverty-ridden Pakistanis living in rural areas sell their kidneys to pay off debts or raise money for their families. Sick but wealthy Pakistanis, and foreigners from the Gulf, Britain and Canada flock to private hospitals in Pakistan for kidney transplants, made possible by these donors.

My comment: Seems his wife is just another revenue-raising resource to Shakeel Ahmed. If asked, she might have even agreed, but it would be nice to be asked, not to discover it 18 months later. The news article says he was arrested. I wonder if he committed a crime under Pakistani law?

February 28, 2007 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Generational, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions, News, Pakistan, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues

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