Yet another “honour killing” in Pakistan


Islamabad: December 4, 2007. A girl in Punjab province became victim of an honour killing when she was axed to death by her father and close relatives for allegedly having an affair with a boy from her locality. The girl was killed after her father, Farooq Khan Baloch, became suspicious that his daughter was having an affair with Amjad, a youngster in Jhang tehsil in Punjab province. Seeing them together, Farooq with relatives Sher Khan, Asghar Khan and Riaz Khan, axed the girl to death, while the boy managed to escape, The Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday. The police have registered a case. It said that `honour killings` are widespread among rural Muslim tribes in Pakistan where the victims are mostly female. The spilling of blood under the garb of honour is mostly at the behest of close family members with the aim of undoing the perceived loss of wider family status owing to the actions of the victim. Ghazala, a woman in the Punjab province`s Joharabad, was set on fire by her brother on January 6, 1999. She was murdered because her family suspected her of having an illicit relationship with a neighbour. Women in Pakistan face death by shooting, burning or killing with axes if they are deemed to have brought shame on the family. They are killed for supposed illicit relationships, for marrying men of their choice, for divorcing husbands. They are even murdered by their kin if they are raped as they are thereby deemed to have brought shame on their family. Often, the truth of the suspicion does not matter; merely the allegation is enough to bring dishonour on the family and therefore justifies the slaying.

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