Pakistani police have arrested the son of a landowner for an assault on a 10-year-old boy that resulted in his injured arms being amputated, the latest case highlighting harsh treatment of villagers by so-called feudal families.

A tiny number of families own huge tracts of land in Pakistan, in particular its breadbasket province of Punjab, and political parties woo the families, hoping to win the votes of the villagers working for them.

Police said the injured boy's father, Muhammad Iqbal, had a long-running dispute with landowner Ghulam Ghaus, who accused Iqbal of letting his cows graze on his land in central Punjab.