Pakistan: Girl lost in poker game pleads for help
A teenage girl in southern Pakistan, whose late father lost her in a poker game when she was 2 years old, has asked authorities to save her from being handed over to a middle-aged relative.
Rasheeda, 17, said she has filed applications with the police and a local councillor asking them to prevent Lal Haider, 45, from taking her to his home.
Her mother, Nooran said her husband racked up a debt of 10,000 rupees ($151) to Haider playing cards.
"My husband didn't have money to pay, and instead he told Lal Haider that he could take Rasheeda when she grows up," she said.
Despite being paid his money last year, she said Haider still insisted the girl should be given to him because of tribal customs.
While both families live in Hyderabad, a city 160 km (100 miles) north of the southern city of Karachi, they belong to the same tribe in Baluchistan province.
The girl's uncle, Dur Mohammad said Haider apparently wanted to marry the girl to his son.
Khalid Rajput, a local councillor dealing with the case, said the decision that Rasheeda should be handed over to Haider was taken late last week at a tribal council meeting.
"We know some tribal elders from Baluchistan came for the meeting in which the girl's family was told to give her as per their customs," he said.
Irfan Bhutto, a police officer in Hyderabad, said Haider had been summoned. "We will ensure the girl does not have to do anything against her will."
Pakistan Girl Was to Be Poker Debt Bride