Girl, 13, forced to marry disabled groom, 36, so her father can make his sister his second wife

Tanveer Mann
CORRECTS NAME TO RAMZAN NOT RAMAZAN - In this Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 photo, Mohammad Ramzan, right, reacts while talking to The Associated Press with his young bride Saima in Jampur, Pakistan. Saima was given as a bride to the older man by her father so he could marry the groomís sister, a practice of exchanging girls that is entrenched in conservative regions of Pakistan. It even has its own name in Urdu: Watta Satta, ìgive and take.î A mix of interests _ family obligations, desire for sons, a wish to hand off a girl to a husband _ can lead to a young teen in an a marriage she never sought.(AP Photo/K.M. Chaudhry)
Saima, 13, left, has been forced to marry 36-year-old Mohammad Ramzan, right, who is deaf and mute (Picture: AP)
A 13-year-old girl has been forced to marry a 36-year-old disabled man so that her father can take his sister as a second wife. 
Wazir Ahmed, from Jampur, Pakistan, forced his daughter Saima to marry Mohammad Ramzan, in the hope Ramzan’s sister would give him a son.
Saima has now said she told the authorities she was 16 to protect her father and husband.
The marriage was arranged by Ahmed as an exchange: his daughter for Ramzan’s sister, whom he wanted to take as a second wife.
His first wife, Saima’s mother, had given him only daughters, and he hoped his second wife would give him a son.
In this Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 photo, Wazir Ahmed, father of Saima who married Mohammad Ramzan, stands with his wives Sabeel right, and Jannat in Jampur, Pakistan. Saima's father married his underage daughter to 36-year-old Ramzan, in exchange for a second wife who is Ramzan's sister. He hopes she will give him a son. He says he feels no remorse because tradition and faith demands parents marry their daughters, who he calls burdens, soon after they reach puberty. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudhry)
Saima’s father Wazir Ahmed, centre, with his wives Sabeel, right, and Jannat in Jampur, Pakistan (Picture: AP)
But Sabeel wouldn’t marry him until her brother had a wife to care for him.
She would only be a bride in exchange for a bride.
Ahmed said: ‘We gave a girl in this family for a girl in their family. That is our right.’
In deeply conservative regions such as this one in the south of Punjab province, the practice of exchanging girls between families is so entrenched, it even has its own name in Urdu: Watta Satta, which means give and take.
A girl may be given away to pay a debt or settle a dispute between feuding families.
She might be married to a cousin to keep her dowry in the family or, as in this case, married so that she can bear a son.
Many believe that their Islamic religion instructs fathers to marry off their daughters at puberty.
Girl, 13, forced to marry disabled groom, 35, so her father can make his sister his second wife Google Maps
Ahmed, from Jampur, Pakistan, says that the fact that Ramzan is nearly three times his daughter’s age is irrelevant.(File Picture: Google Maps)
Saima admitted that she is afraid of her father but accepts that ‘it is his decision who I will marry and when.’
She added: ‘His [Ramzan] sister and my father fell in love and they exchanged me.’
Faisal Tangwani, regional coordinator for the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in nearby Multan, said: ‘If it is not done, our society thinks parents have not fulfilled their religious obligation.’
Ahmed said that the fact that Ramzan is nearly three times his daughter’s age is irrelevant.
But the legal marrying age is 16, and in a rare move, police did investigate Saima’s marriage after they received a complaint, possibly from a relative involved in a dispute with her father.
Saima’s mother, Janaat, agrees with marrying off her daughters early.
She said: ‘Daughters are a burden, but the sons, they are the owners of the house. I feel shame that I don’t have a son. I myself allowed my husband to get a second wife.’
Girl, 13, forced to marry disabled groom, 36, so her father can make his sister his second wife Reviewed by Bizpodia on 18:41 Rating: 5

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