(The National) Mohammad Ramzan is deaf and mute and has a childlike mind. But he knew his wife, Saima, was too young when she was given to him as a bride.
The 36-year-old uses his fingers to count out her age when they married. When he reaches 13, he stops and looks at her, points and nods several times.
The girl’s father, Wazir Ahmed, says she was 14, not 13, but her age was beside the point. It mattered only that she had reached puberty when he arranged her marriage as an exchange: his daughter for Ramzan’s sister, Sabeel, whom he wanted to take as a second wife. His first wife, Saima’s mother, had given him daughters, and he wanted a son. But Sabeel would not marry him until her brother had a wife to care for him.
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She would be a bride in exchange for a bride.
"We gave a girl in this family for a girl in their family," Ahmed says. "That is our right."