Dozens of young Pakistani girls have been transferred from Karachi to their home region, the Bajuar tribal agency, after a madrasah owner and two teachers where they were studying allegedly used them as bargaining chips to settle a debt.
RFE/RL’s Radio Mashaal reports that 36 girls were handed over by Sindh Province authorities to their legal guardians or had been transferred to the Bajuar Agency administration by November 29.
The case involves girls -- most of them aged 5 to 11 -- who were sent by their families to study Islam at Karachi madrasahs.
Police on November 26 recovered 26 of the girls from a house in the Liaquatabad neighborhood of central Karachi.
RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports that a resident who rented that house was a madrasah employee who had borrowed money from madrasah owner Hameeda Bibi.
Bibi allegedly demanded that the indebted employee provide housing and feed the young girls in order to settle the debt.
Later, police recovered 10 other young girls linked to the case from two different Karachi madrasahs.
A Karachi court on November 28 formally charged Bibi and two teachers, releasing them on bail until a December 10 hearing.