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Forced Pakistani Marriage Leads To Arrests


SWAT, Pakistan -- Police in northwestern Pakistan's Swat district have arrested seven men for attempting to force a 16-year-old girl into marriage to settle a family dispute.

Those arrested include the girl’s father, the prospective groom and his father, and four tribal elders who allegedly brokered the deal. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison.

The case in the village of Shah Dherai was brought to the attention of authorities by the girl's brother after she attempted to commit suicide rather than go through with the marriage.

Pakistan's parliament criminalized the dispute-settling tribal tradition, known as "swara," in 2004. But the law is not often enforced because girls rarely complain to authorities about the involvement of their own families in the practice.
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