Pakistani woman tortured to death over bride-exchange row in Sindh province

An undated photo of Waziran, who was found tortured and killed on June 28 near a village in Pakistan's Southern Sindh province. (Photo courtesy: Irfan Burfat)
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Updated 05 July 2020

Pakistani woman tortured to death over bride-exchange row in Sindh province

  • Deceased’s husband and brother-in-law are in police custody
  • Rural tradition of ‘Watta Satta’ usually translates into ‘a bride for a bride’

KARACHI: At least two men have been arrested in South Pakistan after a woman in her 20’s was found tortured to death along a main highway last week following a row with her husband’s family involving the tribal tradition of ‘watta satta’ or bride exchange, a senior police official told Arab News on Saturday.
The tradition is a form of marriage involving an arranged, reciprocal exchange of spouses between two families, where a pair usually consisting of a brother and sister are married from one family to another pair from another family-- usually a bride for a bride.
A first information report (FIR) was lodged against the woman’s husband, his brother and another relative by the deceased’s father on the insistence of police.
“We arrested the woman’s husband and his brother who confessed to torturing her but said she was at her father’s home [at the time of death]. Due to this and the suspicious behavior of the father, we are also investigating him,” Jamshoro’s senior superintendent of police, Amjad Sheikh, told Arab News.
The deceased, identified as Waziran Chachar, was married five years ago with the understanding that her brother would eventually be married to her husband’s sister, a custom built on a common promise in Pakistan’s rural areas. 
“When Waziran’s father demanded their girl for his son, the family refused,” a local police officer, Rasool Bux Shaikh, told Arab News.
Following the refusal, a row broke out between the families, and two weeks ago Waziran’s father brought her to his home, threatening divorce until a jirga-- an assembly of local elders and leaders-- convinced him to let her go back to her husband’s home.
Waziran’s body was found in the early hours of the morning on June 28 along the Indus highway near the village of Wada Chhachar in Sindh where she lived, Shaikh said.
The custom of Watta Satta, which translates to ‘give and take,’ has long been criticized by human rights organizations due to its underlying threat of retaliation and violence meted out to women as punishments in case of family rows.
According to the results of an initial post-mortem report, Waziran was killed by a blunt weapon. The police are waiting on more conclusive results.
“This can be a car, stone or any other object which is not sharp. We are investigating the case, and digital forensics (of mobile phones) and a detailed post-mortem report will determine who has killed the woman and how,” SSP Sheikh said.


On Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day, Pakistanis wish their 'second home' prosperity

Updated 3 min 29 sec ago

On Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day, Pakistanis wish their 'second home' prosperity

  • Politicians from both the ruling party and opposition underlined ‘uniqueness’ and ‘fraternity’ of the relationship the two countries enjoy
  • They praised Saudi Arabia’s readiness to provide humanitarian aid when Pakistanis find themselves in emergency situations

ISLAMABAD: Pakistanis on Wednesday congratulated Saudi Arabia on its 90th National Day and wished prosperity to the kingdom, which many consider their “second home.”
President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan sent messages of felicitation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
“The president expressed his best wishes for the good health of His Majesty and for progress and prosperity of the people of the brotherly Kingdom,” Dr. Alvi’s office said, while the prime minister in a statement expressed his “best wishes for continued progress and prosperity of the people of Saudi Arabia” and “hope that the fraternal ties between the two nations would continue to flourish.”
Politicians of both the ruling party and opposition highlighted the uniqueness and fraternity of the relationship between the two countries.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy a deep rooted and long-standing fraternal relationship. We wish to convey our felicitations to the leadership and people of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the occasion of the National Day,” Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhari told Arab News.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have not only closely cooperated with each other at international fora but have always stood by each other at times of need,” he said.
The prime minister’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, told Arab News that the relationship with Saudi Arabia — home to over 3 million Pakistani expats — is “eternal” and “will never fail.”
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secretary general Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistanis “sincerely pray for the prosperity and successful future of the kingdom.”
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy unique relationship based on history and has stood test of time,” he told Arab News.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Sehar Kamran said she sees Saudi Arabia as her second home and that under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman many progressive initiatives have been undertaken in the kingdom and they are “not only welcomed by the youth in Saudi Arabia but also the entire world.”
“I have lived myself in the kingdom more than 20 years. It has always been the second home to me, and I have witnessed the revolutionary reforms and the progress that has been made by the kingdom in each and every field.”
“Saudi Arabia is always very close to our heart,” Kamran said, adding that Saudi Arabia comes forward with humanitarian aid when the people of Pakistan find themselves in emergency situations.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are strategic allies and have stood shoulder to shoulder during difficult times,” Pakistan’s ambassador to Riyadh, Raja Ali Ejaz, said.
“I would like to appreciate the efforts of the kingdom to professionally handle the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the benevolent gesture of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz, to provide free medical treatment to expatriates, including Pakistanis, suffering from COVID-19.”
“We, the people of Pakistan, consider Saudi Arabia as our second home. We pledge our loyalty to the kingdom,” Khalid Al Asadi, a Pakistani expatriate who has been living in the kingdom for the past four decades, told Arab News from Medina.
“Saudi nationals here also take us like their brothers. We are celebrating this important occasion with our Saudi brothers here in the kingdom.”