From Spero News, a story of barbarism and tragedy in Afghanistan.
The real problem in this story is that the girl is regarded as property.
- Either she is the property of her fiance’s family, and they broke into her mother’s house and kidnapped her one midnight in order to claim their property.
- Or she is seen as a slave to be taken, and was kidnapped that midnight to be traded for a prized fighting dog, and passed on to increasingly more powerful warlords as tribute.
Here is the story:
“Armed men broke into my house at midnight and took my daughter,” said Sanubar’s mother, Gulshah, 50. “They cut me with a knife. I have filed complaints with the attorney general and with the governor, but nobody is helping me.”
Gulshah insists that her daughter was taken by Mullah Nazar, the district government chief of Ali Abad district, the area of Kunduz province where she earns a meagre living tending livestock.
Nazar is a former militia commander who belongs to the Jamiat-e-Islami faction which is dominant in northeast Afghanistan. The militias attached to such factions – many of them originally mujahedin groups from the Eighties – were supposed to have been disbanded and disarmed long ago under United Nations-sponsored schemes, but their commanders still exercise considerable power in their home regions.
Now the story comes to a fork in the road. Either her daughter was traded for a fighting dog, or she was seized so she could be wed to a 40-year-old deaf, deranged man.
According to Gulshah, Nazar handed her daughter over to a man named Nematullah, and received a prize fighting dog in return. Kunduz residents say Nazar then presented the dog to a more powerful commander in the region as a form of tribute.
Nazar’s version of events is different. He denies any involvement in the kidnapping, saying that it was Nematullah himself who took the girl. Nematullah apparently regards himself as the girl’s father-in-law, since she was promised to his grown son when she was an infant. His son, now 40, is deaf and suffers from mental problems.
“She was betrothed to a 30-year-old man when she was just six months old,” said Nazar. “Then the family did not want to marry her off to him. Nematullah is the one who has kidnapped her, not me.”