Karachi: Cases of forced marriages increasing across Pakistan: FAFEN
KARACHI: An increase in cases of forced marriages was recorded in December 2011, with an average of 14 First Information Reports (FIRs) being filed per district as compared to eight in the preceding month, said a report released by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Thursday.
The statistics were gathered by the FAFEN monitors, who visited 84 offices of district police officers across the country. The collected data revealed that as many as 568 FIRs of forced marriages were lodged in 40 districts – Lahore topping the list with 198, followed by Islamabad with 36 and Sheikhupura with 34.
On the other hand, 255 FIRs for assault or criminal force to a woman with the intent to outrage her modesty were registered in 35 districts, 173 for rape in 40 districts and 60 for offences related to marriage were filed in nine districts.
According to the report, 20 cases of honour killing were reported in 13 districts and two of word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman were registered in one of the monitored districts.
A region-wise analysis showed that of the 1,078 FIRs filed for crimes against women, 78 percent were lodged in Punjab, 11 percent in Sindh, 6 percent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3 percent in Islamabad Capital Territory and 2 percent in Balochistan.
The report said that better outreach, lack of parallel judicial system, and probably a better confidence level between the law–enforcement agencies and citizens could be the reasons for higher reportage of not only crimes against women in Punjab, but also of other registered crimes.
The report also said that as many as 37,848 FIRs were filed in 27 categories of crimes in 84 districts.
Sixty-one percent of the total crimes were “other crimes”, followed by those pertaining to property (20 percent), physical harm (9 percent), threat and fraud (8 percent) and crimes against women (3 percent).
Of the 7,478 FIRs filed for crimes pertaining to property, theft was not only the most widespread, but also the most frequently reported. Thirty-eight percent of the FIRs among crimes pertaining to property were filed for theft, followed by motor vehicle lifting (24 percent), robbery (17 percent), criminal trespass (10 percent) and motor vehicle snatching (10 percent).
Thirty–two cases of extortion and six cases of criminal misappropriation of property were also registered.
Among 3,471 cases of crimes ensuing physical harm to people, 44 percent were filed for hurt, 23 percent for attempted murder, 21 percent for murder, 7 percent for accidental death (qatle khata), 2 percent each for illegal confinement and accidental death (qatl bissabab), and 10 percent for terrorism–related incidents.
Threat and fraud crimes were the third most frequently reported, with 2,839 FIRs registered, of which more than half (51 percent) were for counterfeiting currency, one-fourth for cheating, criminal breach of trust (13 percent), criminal intimidation (8 percent), offences against public tranquillity (3 percent) and 9 percent for fraudulent deeds and dispossession of property.