Friday, 5 July 2013

Two teenage girls and their mother were reported to have been shot dead in the city of Chalas located in the Gilgit-Baltestan province of Pakistan. (Honor-Killing)

Date of incident: Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

According to the police this was an act of honor killing after a video showing the two teenage girls running, laughing and dancing in the rain spread throughout the area. It is suspected that this act of murdering the three females was plotted by a step brother of the two girls, namely Khutore who is absconding and his whereabouts are still not clear. A theory suggests that Khutore after finding the video of his step sisters had the view that they had brought disgrace to the family that lead him to this inhuman action.
Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper has reported that the father of the victims has filed a report that states that  five masked men broke into their house and shot the girls and their mother dead.
Police have been successful in arresting four of the people who broke into the house who have also confessed. While Khutore is still on the run.
According to a Human Rights Commission report, honor killings are quite common in Pakistan. And in the year 2011 alone, around 943 women were killed in the name of honor.
Although honor killing is majorly practiced in Muslim countries like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan this has nothing to do with Islam. The Holy Quran (Islamic Divine Scripture) and the other sources of knowledge in Islam openly condemn any kind of act regarding violence against women. According to many scholars in the region this act is a part of the ancient tribal customs which state that the integrity of their tribe, village or family solely dependent on the actions of their women.
It is important to add that last year four women were killed in the village of Kohistan in the same region after they were sentenced death by a local group of clerics, called a Jirga. The jirga was of the view that they had stained the names of their families by dancing with men at a wedding party. At that occasion Aurat Foundation (a women's rights group in Pakistan) stated that about a thousand such so called honor-killings take place but it is always the woman and not the man who is punished.  Human Rights Watch, which campaigns against atrocities worldwide, had called for tougher measures against tribal elders who condemn women to death.
Literate Pakistanis have demonstrated protests against these unlawful actions but the government fails to take important measures to prevent such events from occurring. Various national and international organisations such as the UN Women are working to stop "honor killing" in the society but the lack of national data and the poor law and order situation are acting as barriers in the course of their cause.

By: Mohammad Hotiana (Pakistan)

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