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What is the honor in killing?

Honor Killing

One more barbaric homicide of a girl has carried out. Abeera from Sialkot, who coveted for being a model and had moved over to Lahore to pursue a career in the entertainment industry where unfortunately she got trapped in wrong hands and ultimately was put to death. According to postmortem report, she was ravished prior to relentless act.

In another case, a seven-year-old girl from the Mazafar Garh was made the stooge of a vicious game by her step parents. Her step mother was not able to conceive so she, along with her husband, consulted the baba (magician) who suggested them that the adopted girl should be kept in grave probably for two hours every night until the lady is able to conceive. Hence, they went on practicing this cruel ritual for almost one month before getting caught days ago.

Every day in Pakistan, women are murdered, kidnaped, abused and raped. Women are the most crippled segment of Pakistani society. They are cornered from all sides by various religious and social constraints. They always have been the victims of honor killing, karo kari, forceful marriage, cruel dowry system, and the cruel acid throwing.

A female who defies the tradition or who dares to disobey her elders, by refusing to marry against her will, demanding separation and divorce, desires for education rather than getting married, or if she does not observe Perdah, is considered a stain on the honor of family. She is not given a chance to justify actions and explain herself. She is exterminated by her own family members, and this sentence is mostly delivered by the Jirga which is like a tribal court. Women are mercilessly put to death to restore honor.

However, it not just Pakistan where women face such grave situation. It is, at various degrees, present in different countries of the world. According to the report of European council in 2009, there have been reports of honor killings from various countries such as India, Brazil, Canada, United States, Latin America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Palestine, Kuwait, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Cyprus, and Albania.

According to Turkey’s council report in 2007, almost 200 women were killed. In Istanbul every week one honor killing was reported in 2008. About 1000 women were killed from 2003 to 2008. In Turkey, young boys are often ordered by elders to commit the honor killing so that they may get shorter jail term. And in some cases, the victim is forced to commit suicide.

The UN estimates that around 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year in honor killing. The rate is comparatively high in Middle East and in south Asia.

According to the official estimate of United Kingdom, at least one dozen women are victim of honor killing every year particularly within Asian families. In 2012, the UK had the first white victim of honor killing. Shafilea Iftikhar Ahmed 17-year-old British Pakistani was killed because she refused to marry a person which her family had arranged for her. Laura Wilson, a seventeen-year-old girl, was killed by her boyfriend for cheating on him.

In May 2014 in Pakistan, Farzana Iqbal was killed in the presence of police and that too in front of the high court. She was beaten mercilessly using bricks and people and police only acted as onlookers and did not try to save her life. The good thing however, is that all the culprits involved, her father and brothers were sentenced to a death penalty. However as there was a moratorium on the death penalty so the sentence could not be carried out. But now that the moratorium has been removed since Peshawar’s massacre, these perpetrator now must be hanged as per the awarded sentence.

In 2012, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar, reportedly killed his own daughter. It was also a case of honor killing according to media reports. However, media did not give it enough coverage, and even international media too remained oblivious to it. He was roaming freely after committing this heinous crime. All the human rights organizations remained mum over it.

It is common in tribal areas of Pakistan that if a girl is raped, she if married off to the same rapist. She has no choice to agree to the decision otherwise she is killed for the honor of family.

In 2008, seven women were buried alive because they were blamed of having illicit relationship with some men out of the family. The accusation indeed was fabricated as it was not proven that they were associated with any one. However sadly, the incident was not well interrogated and the alleged offender still freely roam around.

Honor killing is predominantly against women. All those culprit involved in this manifestation of violent and criminal practice against women should not be considered any less terrorists and must be tried anti-terrorism courts. Awareness should be spread among the people.

Honor killing must simply be called killing as it is just that. There is no honor in killing a human being. There should be no sympathy with those who kill in the name of honor. The other day, I told one of my friend about a girl’s murder, she got sad to hear about it but when she came to know that she murder was a case of honor killing, I could not sense the same amount of sympathy in her tone for the deceased.

We, as a nation, must change our attitude towards this heinous crime called honor killing. Our Law Makers must rise above cultural restraints and bring more tough laws against people who kill in the name of honor.

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