Swara is a child marriage custom in tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is tied to blood feuds among the different tribes and clans where young girls are forcibly married to members of different clans in order to resolve the feuds. It is most common among Pashtuns.
Hashmi and Koukab claim this custom started almost 400 years ago when two northwestern Pakistani Pashtun tribes fought a bloody war against each other. During the war, hundreds were murdered. The Nawab, regional ruler, settled the war by calling a Jirga of elders from both sides. The elders decided that the dispute and crime of men be settled by giving their girls as a retaliatory punishment. Ever since then, tribal and rural jirgas have been using young virgin girls from 4 to 14 years old, through child marriages, to settle crimes such as murder by men. This blood for blood tradition is practiced in different states of Pakistan such as Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Sarhad and tribal areas.
- Nasrullah, M., Muazzam, S., Bhutta, Z. A., & Raj, A. (2013). Girl Child Marriage and Its Effect on Fertility in Pakistan: Findings from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, 2006–2007. Maternal and child health journal, pp 1-10
- Vani a social evil Anwar Hashmi and Rifat Koukab, The Fact (Pakistan), (July 2004)
- Ahsan, I. (2009). PANCHAYATS AND JIRGAS (LOK ADALATS): Alternative Dispute Resolution System in Pakistan. Strengthening Governance Through Access To Justice
- Saeed, R. R. (2004). Women status in Pakistan under customs and values& the controversial hudood ordinance 1979
- Shamsie, M. (2002). A matter of dishonour. Index on Censorship, 31(4), pp 191-195
- Khouri, N. (2007). Human Rights and Islam: Lessons from Amina Lawal and Mukhtar Mai. Geo. J. Gender & L., 8, 93.
- TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING PUKHTOON JIRGA Hassan M. Yousufzai & Ali Gohar, Fresno University, ISBN 969-8931-00-7
- Alissa Rubin, For Punishment of Elder’s Misdeeds, Afghan Girl Pays the Price, New York Times, February 16, 2012
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (November 2010)|
- Custom of swara in vogue despite govt claims, November 29, 2010
- Six-month-old girl married off in Swara incident, May 31, 2010
- Present law insufficient to check swara, vani custom, April 26, 2010
- Swara practised with impunity in tribal areas, November 13, 2006
- Swara Practice in Pakistan Caused Young Women's Deaths, November 7, 2006
- Swara girl decreed by jirga rejected, April 17, 2006
- Blood Feuds Trap Girls in 'Compensation Marriages', April 1, 2006
- Documentary highlights inhuman Swara custom, December 27, 2005
- Pakistani Girls Forced to Settle Men’s Disputes, April 16, 2004
- Swara: The Price of Honour, February 20, 2004
- Legislator Fights Pakistan's 'Blood' Marriages, October 20, 2003
- Girls as 'compensation' still in vogue, August 22, 2003