Elders in a village in Pakistan's southern Sindh province arranged the weddings of men and women of marriageable age to check a growing trend of elopement.
One elder proposed to the panchayat (council) of the village in Sanghar district that all men and women who had reached marriageable age should be married off after obtaining their consent.
The proposal was unanimously approved by the panchayat and 13 couples tied the knot on Thursday, the Dawn newspaper reported today.
The panchayat, headed by Haji Usman Bhanojo, was convened to discuss the elopement of a woman named Naz and a man named Guddu Panhwar.
Some villagers suggested that the couple should be killed because they had "disgraced" the community but "sanity prevailed and they all agreed to pardon the couple", the report said.
One elder then came up with the novel idea that all men and women who had come of marriageable age should be married off.
The suggestion was accepted by all members of the panchayat.
The consent of the women was obtained before the weddings and the report said this was a "practice unheard of so far".
There have been several reports of "honour killings" of men and women who married without the consent of their families in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.