Rawalpindi: 2008 saw 179 honour killings
RAWALPINDI: As many as 179 persons were killed in 141 incidents of honour killing throughout the country in year 2008. According to a study by ‘The News’ based on the newspaper reports published from January to December 2008 a total of 138 women and 41 men were killed in the name of honour. The year 2008 also saw two cruel incidents of violence that included the burial of five women alive in Nasirabad district of Balochistan and throwing of TasleemSolangi, an eight-month pregnant, in front of the hungry dogs in Khairpur district of Sindh. Most of such incidents took place in interior Sindh, especially Sukkar, Khairpur and Mirpurkhas. It is, however, astonishing to note that a great number of honour killing incidents also took place in the urban areas of Punjab like Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala and one such incident in Rawalpindi. In most of the cases the close relatives killed their daughters, sisters, wives, nieces and in five of the incidents mothers. The social customs being the most dominant played part in these honour killings. Even abroad such incident also occurred as a Pakistani family in US strangulated their daughter for not obeying parents for keeping on with the marriage. According to a newspaper report a Pakistani cabdriver in the Toronto area strangulated his 16-year-old daughter Aqsa Pervez for her refusal to wear a ‘hijab’.
In another incident of a similar nature father of a girl along with his two sons were awarded life imprisonment in Italy for killing their daughter in the name of honour who was living with an Italian boyfriend.
In Pakistan, the most horrific incident was the burial of five women alive after giving them a severe beating in the Nasirabad district in August 2008. The incident invited the attention of all the world community and the human rights organisations. The anger turned into fury when a Baloch senator said that it was nothing but a tribal custom.
Two months after the incident a woman, TasleemSolangi, was thrown before the hungry dogs in the name of honour. Some of the news reports said that she was pregnant when she was killed and she was forced to deliver the baby who was thrown into a canal declaring illegitimate.
Most of the people killed in these incidents of honour killings were stabbed. Some of them were strangulated and some others were shot dead by the blood relatives.
The honour killing took no exception for the mothers as about five incidents were reported in which sons killed their mothers on the pretext of moral corruption. According to a news report on September 24, a youth in Okara after killing his mother mutilated her body for not to be identified.
Some incidents of honour killings also occurred in Punjab like in Lahore a brother killed his sister, a medical college student, after her eight-month marriage with a bus conductor.
In many of the cases the pregnant women were either killed or forced to seek protection from the government due to the fear from their relatives. In one such incident a pregnant ‘kari’ died in Karachi while her family did not bother to receive her body. According to a newspaper report “A pregnant woman who was shot on May 1 in a so-called honour case died on Friday. Her family has not come to receive her body even though they have been contacted by the police. The shooting took place at Tajkun Colony when 24-year-old Naz was at home with her husband Munir. They were married five months ago and were living together secretly. Naz’s husband Munir died on the spot and she was critically injured.”
In another incident a pregnant women who was declared ‘kari’ fainted in the court. According to the newspaper report “An eight-month pregnant woman declared as ‘kari’ by the Jatoi tribe fainted in the court while recording her statement before a judge. SairaJatoi and her husband Ismail Soomro were declared ‘karokari’ by an illegal Jirga as the couple married against the will of her tribe a year ago. They were forced to give themselves up after their relatives were kept in illegal confinement by the Jatois.”
The honour killing incidents kept horrifying the people as a number of brutal killing incident kept coming to the surface. In such an incident the police found chopped hands near Mirpur Mathelo bypass. The newspaper report revealed the horrific incident as “Two chopped off hands, one each of male and female, were found from near Mirpur Mathelo bypass on Wednesday morning.”
Report also said, “The male and female right hands coloured with henna were chopped off from elbows had been found from near a nursery situated some distance away from Mirpur Mathelo bypass. Police reached there and took the hands in custody.”
“Police sources claimed that the hands belonged to a newly married couple, who may have been put to death due to their court marriage or some matrimonial dispute. Police shifted the hands to civil hospital, MirpurMathelo, from where they were sent to Larkana hospital for DNA test.”
Despite the government efforts honour killing incidents remained high in year 2008. According to a newspaper statement, “A specialised police unit to control violence against women, in particular the menace of ‘Karo–Kari’, has been planned with the help of UNDP. This unit will focus on district of upper Sindh where most of the cases of violence against women were reported.”
In another statement published in a newspaper the Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Ali Mirza directed the Inspector General Police to take all possible steps to act against those holding ‘Jirgas’ (courts) in the name of ‘Karo Kari’.”
No such efforts till this time seem to be fruitful in this regard where honour will keep on claiming lives.