Pakistan allows a victim’s family to pardon a convict in exchange for financial compensation. I actually think this makes alot of sense. Here in the U.S., we think of crimes such as murder as “crimes against the state.” The state prosecutes and the state punishes — as though it was the state that was harmed. This practice, which strikes me as more advanced than in the West, allows the people who are truly harmed — the families — to be compensated instead.
The problem with this particular deal is that the parties agreed to something that was not permitted — including young brides in addition to the cash.
Pakistani elders declared that it was simply “unethical” for a 77-year old man to marry a 15 year old. Perhaps. Pakistan apparently has some significant standards, beyond those in the West. After all, many states in the U.S. do permit marriage by a 15 year old. Heck, even Senator Strom Thurmond married an 18 year old when he was in his 70s.