Swara, a practise in which females, sometimes minors, are handed in marriage or slavery to an aggrieved family as settlement to resolve disputes, was ruled ‘un-Islamic’ by Pakistan’s Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Tuesday, according to local media.

The custom of giving away adolescent girls to resolve disputes, according to a three-judge bench led by FSC Chief Justice Noor Mohammad Meskenzai, is against Islamic injunctions.

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Sakeena Bibi, the petitioner, claimed that swara, which is generally the consequence of punishment imposed by a council of tribal elders known as a jirga or panchayat, infringed on a woman’s or young girl’s basic rights.

“It stated that the jirga or panchayat misinterpreted the idea of ‘badl-i-sulah,’ or compensation to resolve a disagreement by providing a young girl to the offended family,” according to the statement.

According to reports, the petitioner asked the court to deem the practise illegal.

According to Dr. Mohammad Aslam Khaki, an FSC legal consultant, swara infringed on at least four basic rights.

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Despite the fact that swara was deemed illegal by legislation in 2005 and 2011, the ritual is still observed in many places of Pakistan.

All such “parallel justice” systems were abolished by the Sindh High Court in 2004. However, in rural sections of the nation, the government’s authority is weak, and local police frequently turn a blind eye.

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