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Parwana Malik: Afghan girl, 9, sold to 55-year-old man by father so he can buy food

Parwana's father Abdul who has been living in a displacement camp with his family for four years had no option but to sell his daughter to survive.
Parwana Malik, 9, was sold as a child bride to 55-year-old Qorban by her father Abdul Malik so he could raise funds for the rest of his family to survive (CNN)
Parwana Malik, 9, was sold as a child bride to 55-year-old Qorban by her father Abdul Malik so he could raise funds for the rest of his family to survive (CNN)

An Afghan girl aged 9 was sold to a 55-year-old in marriage by her father. Life for poverty-stricken families in Afghanistan has never been easy, especially for the ones holed up in displacement camps. Abdul Malik is one such father who along with his family has been living in one of these camps for the past four years and things got tougher after the Taliban's takeover of the country which has further plummeted into a humanitarian crisis. According to a CNN report, Malik sold his daughter Parwana to who she referred to as "old man" due to his white beard and eyebrows. You can watch the video here

After Taliban took over Afghanistan, it was reported that US officials at intake centers in the United Arab Emirates and in Wisconsin had identified numerous incidents in which Afghan girls had been presented to authorities as "wives" of much older men. Child marriage is not unheard of or a rare phenomenon in Afghanistan but the US has strict policies against human trafficking including prosecutions for offenders and sanctions for countries that don't crack down on it. In related news, a former female police officer claimed that the Taliban was having sex with dead bodies after reports emerged that they were on a door-to-door manhunt seeking out people who worked for the US or its allied forces with the intention of enslaving them. She told the outlet News18 that radical Islamic militants "don't care whether the person is dead or alive" as the members of the Taliban either picked up women from families or shot them. She also claimed that they even rape corpses or performed necrophilia.


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Abdul Malik's (L) daughter Parwana in a veil with her 55-year-old husband in Afghanistan (CNN)

Abdul Malik pleaded his 9-year-old's daughter's husband to not beat her

CNN reported that Abdul Malik weepingly pleaded with his 55-year-old son-in-law Qorban to not beat or hurt his child. The guilt-laden parent was in tears as he told Qorban, "This is your bride. Please take care of her. You are responsible now, please don't beat her." Parwana's family said they had no other choice but to resort to selling their daughter into marriage like scores of other families in the country who are being forced to do the same in order to make a desperate attempt at survival. 

Abdul told the outlet, "We are eight family members. I have to sell to keep other families alive." He told the news outlet that he tried unsuccessfully to find a job and his wife even ended up begging for food from other camp residents but nothing seemed to work in their favor. Parwana reportedly told the outlet, "My father has sold me because we don't have bread, rice, or flour. He has sold me to an old man." Her father Abdul is "broken" with guilt after having made the decision and is finding it difficult to sleep at night. 

Abdul Malik (L) accepting money from Qorban, her daughter Parwana Malik's 55-year-old child bride in Afghanistan (CNN)

Parwana has been sold for 200,000 Afghanis ($2,217) in the form of cash, sheep, and land which Abdul says will sustain his family for a few months after which he will have to find another method to raise money to survive. Qorban has taken Parwana to his home despite the girl having pled otherwise with her family. He has claimed to look after the girl as his own daughter and said he has a wife already. "[Parwana] was cheap, and her father was very poor and he needs money," he told CNN. "She will be working in my home. I won't beat her. I will treat her like a family member. I will be kind."

Abdul on the other hand revealed he has no say over the future of his young daughter. "The old man told me, 'I'm paying for the girl. It's none of your business what I'm doing with her, that's my business'," he said recalling his conversation with Qorban. He added, "As I can see, we don't have a future - our future is destroyed. I will have to sell another daughter if my financial situation doesn't improve - probably the two-year-old."