The Faisalabad police have arrested a man and a marriage officiant over their involvement in a child marriage. The police said that the man had his his nine-year-old son married off to an 11-year-old girl Tuesday night. The man, who lives in Jhang Bazaar, said that he only has sons and wanted a daughter too, so he got his son married. The police is investigating the case.
The practice of child, early and forced marriage is widespread and occurs in all regions of Pakistan, with the highest prevalence in the Sindh Province. It disproportionately affects the girl child.
Child marriage in Pakistan is legally prohibited to an extent under the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 (No XIX). Under the Act, the minimum age for marriage is 18 years for a male and 16 years for a female (section 2). Contravention is punishable with a fine of Rs.1000 and an imprisonment of one month or both for
• An adult male (above 18 years of age) who contracts marriage with a child (section 4).
• A person who solemnizes a child marriage (section 5).
• A parent or guardian who does not act to prevent a child marriage (section 6).
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