Out of money? Sell your daughter
By Haytullah Gaheez
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | JALALABAD, Afghanistan
Zeva's eyes filled with tears as the 10-year-old's father took her by the arm and handed her over to the man from whom he had borrowed 50,000 afghanis, or about $1,000.
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"I cannot pay you in any other way. Take my daughter," said Gul Miran, 42, a farmer in Nangarhar province.
Like many other farmers in Afghanistan, Gul Miran had planned to pay back the loan with the proceeds from his crop of poppies, which would eventually be turned into heroin. But as part of its stepped-up effort to combat the drug trade in the country, the government had ploughed under his fields, and Gul Miran was left with nothing.
"I accepted the girl in return for my loan," said Haji Naqibullah, who had advanced Gul Miran the money. "We had an agreement. He would (pay me back) regardless of whether his crops were wiped out by the weather or by the government.
"In a year or 18 months I will marry her off to my youngest son," he said. "He is 19 years old and has been married to his first wife for two years but has not had a child yet."
Payenda Gul, who grows poppies in the Shinwar district, was forced to give his 17-year-old daughter to a 38-year-old in order to pay his debt.
"When you have an agreement with an opium dealer, nothing but the opium can be paid but they cannot refuse the daughters. It is a way in which a dealer can find a wife for himself or for a son. The son may be disabled or he may be growing older and not had a wife. It is easy to present him with a pretty girl."