Court probes barter of seven girls ‘to end feud’

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Pakistan’s High Court has ordered a probe into an alleged barter of seven girls to settle a blood feud in a remote south-western district.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry yesterday began proceedings into the allegations, which were first reported in local media.

The alleged trade happened in the Dera Bugti district of Baluchistan between two sub-tribes of the Bugti tribe.

A tribal council had ordered the barter in early September, district deputy commissioner Saeed Faisal told the court. He did not know the girls’ ages but local papers reported they were between four and 13.

Mr Chaudhry ordered that all members of the tribal council appear in court today, as well as a local MP who belongs to one of the two sub-tribes involved.

The tradition of families exchanging unmarried girls to settle feuds is banned in modern Pakistan but is still used in the country’s more conservative, tribal areas.