The ‘panchayat’ – believed to be the fastest medium of dispute resolution by the ones practising, have a history of human rights abuse. It is webbed to protect the powerful while vulnerable, which is usually the women in patriarchal societies as they are treated as an agency of men, suffer the worst exploitation as a result of this choked system.
Though the history of panchayat is as old as the history of sub-continent itself, it is sad that the backward, orthodox and flawed system of ‘justice’ is still an acceptable practice in the progressing 21st century.
One such shameful and horrifying to the core example reflecting the injustices done under the banner of justice in the panchayat system is a recent incident that happened in Sahwali, Rajanpur, where it decided to marry two educated doctor sisters to uneducated men to settle a family dispute. In the case, they don’t submit to it, the father of the women will have to surrender 123 acres of land that belongs to him.
The incident took place in the native village of Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari. The father of the affected women, Jagan Mazari, while talking to a local news source, said that his both daughters are in MBBS final year. Back in June, the panchayat ordered to marry them off within the family or give up his agricultural land as a penalty. It is the harvesting season. When he tried to step on his own land, Jagan and his daughters were attacked.
He further said that his daughters are educated and they don’t want to get married to uneducated relatives. Considering the circumstances, he went to complain to the District Police Officer, who immediately ordered an investigation into the matter.
DPO Haroon Rasheed said that Jagan and his brother have a land dispute and police is investigating the matter. He further assured that police will not let anyone force or do injustice to the women.
The Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari was swift and she intervened.
Spoke to DPO Rajanpur, Haroon Rashid, on this case. It is unacceptable & against the law to force anyone to marry against their will. He agreed & said he had made that clear to those responsible. They have been summoned again tomorrow by the DPO. https://t.co/n3geYibLKa.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 2, 2018
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