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MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) - A Pakistan village council has punished a 20-year-old man for adultery by ordering the betrothal of his two-year-old niece to the husband of the woman with whom he had the alleged affair, police said on Monday.
Tribal elders meeting last week also ordered Mohammed Akmal to pay a 230,000-rupee ($4,782 Cdn) fine to the woman's husband, who has since divorced his wife.
Police said that the council in Kacha Chohan village, about 350 kilometres west of Punjab province's major city of Multan, decreed that the two-year-old girl would be married to Mohammed Altaf when she turns 18.
Rashid Rahman, a lawyer and Multan-based co-ordinator with the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, condemned the village council's decision.
"These types of panchayats are illegal and nobody has the right to take a decision about a child's life," he said. "This country has its legal system and all decisions should be taken under it."
In 2002, another village council near Multan ordered a woman to be gang-raped as punishment for her brother's sexual relations with another woman.
A court later convicted six men who perpetrated the rape and sentenced them to death. They are appealing their sentences.