By: Farah Jamil
Honour Killing- homicide against women has increased tremendously over the last 2 decades both on national and international level; and it tends to increase even more in the foreseeable future. To kill an innocent woman for simply forbidding her family’s wishes is nothing short of cold-blooded murder. There is no legitimate Islamic religious authority who can argue otherwise.
In the month of June, several wrenching stories of ‘honour killing’ were reported from various parts of Pakistan. The victims include working women, adult female students, and of course ‘free-will’ marriages cases.
Mother of three was killed by her brother-in-law who later killed her alleged lover in the name of ‘honour’ in Nawabshah’s Bandhi Town in the start of June.
According to a recent report revealed on 9th June by the media revealed that a girl between the age of 16 and 17 was shot three times, allegedly by her cousin, in the Nilore village.
I am still wondering that was it a ‘hate crime’ or a so-called act of ‘bravery’? According to the father of that girl, they had decided to marry her off to a man much older than her seven months ago, but the victim left home with a boy from a local community. This eventually led towards the honor-killing of that girl who for once tried to consider her choices important as well.
Honour killing is a menace still prevalent in many parts of Pakistan. However, due to improved education system especially in Punjab and Sindh, the mindset of people has been changed a bit; yet the level of freedom and rights for woman are not up to the mark..
Recently, a case was reported from KPK where a man was shot dead allegedly by his wife who accused him of raping their daughter-in-law in the absence of her soldier husband, in what local media described as a “rare incident of honour killing”. The man reportedly had been assaulting his daughter-in-law for the past three months.
“I decided to kill him when he refused to give up his evil practice,” said Begum – the woman who killed her husband.
However, there are several other cases which are not reported due to the silence and fear of shame among society.
Amendments in Law:
In October last year, after a controversial rise in honour killing within and outside families like Qandeel Baloch, Tasleem being killed by their brothers claiming that “Girls are born to be at home and follow the traditions only”, Government of Pakistan passed a law against honour killings.
Now, according to that law, a killer will have to face 25 years of imprisonment, and also DNA test will be practiced to determine the intensity of suffering the victim has gone through and the amount of imprisonment the rapist should receive.. However, it is yet to be examined that on which scale this law will get implemented.
Almost a year had passed and still a number of women continue to get killed in Pakistan in the name of ‘honour’.
Still, there is a dire need to understand the changes taking place in our society in the form of girl’s education, working women and even free-will marriages.
For this, the most important role is that of the media and the more liberal right-wing groups in society. We can hope that they can mutually change the minds of extremists – found in different parts of Pakistan.