Karachi: Karo-Kari couple on the run for their lives
Karachi: A married couple, who was declared Karo-Kari a year ago, seeks help from the authorities for their protection, as they are on the run for their lives.
Currently in Karachi and hailing from Merabpur, Nosheroferoz, a worried couple Ghulam Murtaza, and his wife Benazir said that they wanted the state to protect them else they would end up dead like many of the couples who were killed in the name of honour. A recent report released by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan stated that in 2010, around 791 women were killed in the name of honour.
“Our only fault was that she is a Sindhi and I am a Punjabi. We fell in love and got married. Our families opposed the marriage due to our ethnicities. We thought that our marriage would soften the hearts of our families but we were wrong,” Murtaza told The News.
The couple ran away from their native village and came to Karachi where they contracted marriage on 31st October in 2009. However, back home, a jirga called by the influential of the Mir and Hajano clan declared them as Karo-Kari, and demanded that both be caught and killed.
“Sadly, my brothers were part of the jirga. They are hunting for me and will kill me whenever they get their hands on me. What will happen to my daughter if they kill me,” said Benazir, tightly clutching their six month old daughter.
Three months ago, the man and wife went back to their village to resolve the matter, but an attack by Benazir’s family on the Ferozuddin Bhatti Goth, where Murtaza’s family, made them to flee to Karachi. The tension continues to increase in the area as on 26th June, one of Murtaza’s cousins was injured in a firing incident on the family.
“The police of the area have sided up with the influential, and refuse to take any action,” said Murtaza. Talking about the treatment meted out to the women in her area, a teary-eyed Benazir said, “Women in my village have no rights or respect. We are considered no less than animals. No one listens to us nor do we have any say in any matter.”
Venting out her anger, she continues, “The government boasts of eliminating the culture of honour killing, but it is very much prevalent today. Women who don’t listen to their men are labelled as Kari, and are buried without a coffin or without being offered funeral prayers.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has written a letter to the DPO of Nosheroferoz, urging the police official to take notice of the incident and ensure that the lives and properties of Murtaza and his wife are safe, and that the perpetrators be bought to justice.
Assistant Coordinator at the HRCP, Abdul Hai, said that so far no response had yet been received. “In such cases where the poor is concerned, the officials do not pay heed. In this incident, I request the concerned MPAs of the area to take action, and solve the matter as lives of innocent people are at stake.”