From AFP via Sify News, "Pak court validates marriage of 12-year-old girl," with thanks to Nicolei.
Lahore: A Pakistani court in the first verdict of its kind has declared valid the marriage of a 12-year-old girl, a lawyer and court officials said on Friday. A judge sitting at the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore gave the ruling on the grounds that in Islam a female can marry if she has reached puberty, the officials told AFP.
He accepted a joint petition by the girl, named as Zeenat Bibi, and her 25-year-old husband Babar Javed and dismissed charges of rape which were filed by her father.
"This is the first time that a court has validated marriage of a 12-year-old girl in Pakistan," her lawyer Azeem Sarwar said. The decision was handed down on Wednesday.
The ruling also overrides the Muslim Family Law under which the marriageable age for girls in Pakistan is 16 years, he added...
The girl, now aged 12 years and seven months, was medically examined and it was "proved" that she had reached puberty, the lawyer said...
Pakistan's government has sought to change the country's image and recently stepped into a high-profile gang rape case, ordering the rearrest of five men who had been cleared of attacking a woman.
The victim in that case, Mukhtiar Mai, herself became a noted rights campaigner while the acquittals earlier this year sparked international outrage.
Pakistan also ordered an inquiry last month into the case of a college girl who publicly threatened to burn herself to death after she was allegedly gang-raped by kidnappers and then by the police officers who rescued her.