Five men arrested in disturbing rape case in Pakistan

“Police in Pakistan have arrested five men after a village council ordered a father to hand over his nine-year-old daughter as compensation in a rape case, officers said Friday. A group of elders in the remote rural area of Bahalak in Punjab province made the ruling to settle a year-long dispute between a farm worker and an influential local landowner, local police station chief Mohammad Khalid told AFP,” an Agence France-Presse article wrote, republished by The Globe and Mail late last week. The article continued highlighting the disturbing culture of rape that exists in Pakistan, “The worker, Arshad, who goes by one name, was accused of involvement in the abduction and rape of landowner Ali Sher’s daughter, Khalid said. ‘The jury on Sunday decreed that Arshad would marry (off) his daughter Sidra to Ali Sher’s 22-year old son Maqsood,’ he explained. ‘Arshad agreed verbally but Sidra, who is too young, remains with her family,’ he said. The marriage was not formally solemnised but the village council made Arshad agree to pay Sher 400,000 rupees ($4,000) – a vast sum for a farm labourer in Pakistan – if he did not honour the ruling.” Violence against women in Pakistan is quickly becoming a global topic – the story of 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai who survived a gunshot to the head during an assassination attempt by Taliban militants has become a lightning rod for global activists seeking education rights for girls and women across the South Asian country. Read the full Agence France-Presse article here. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS  

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