Pakistan probes alleged girl barter to settle feud

Associated Press

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's top court on Tuesday ordered a probe into an alleged barter of seven girls to settle a blood feud in a remote southwestern district.

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

The alleged trade happened in the Dera Bugti district of Baluchistan province between two sub-tribes of the Bugti tribe, one of the more prominent tribes in the province.

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

However, the Advocate General for the province could not confirm the incident.

Chaudhry, the chief justice, ordered Faisal to make sure that all members of the tribal council appear in the court on Wednesday, as well as a local lawmaker who belongs to one of the two sub-tribes believed involved in the incident.

The tradition of families exchanging unmarried girls to settle feuds is banned under Pakistani law but still practiced in the country's more conservative, tribal areas.

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