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‘Honour’ killings

One wonders what sort of feeling towards humanity those have, who can inflict harm, indeed even kill, their own children, nieces and nephews, and what one can hope for a society made up of such people. On April 17, a case was filed near Rahim Yar Khan against a man, for allegedly strangling his niece to death because she eloped with a man. The charge has not as yet been proven, but is easy to believe given the number of honour killings in the country, with a Human Rights Commission of Pakistan report published earlier this month, saying that over 900 females, including almost 100 minors were killed for “honour” last year. We condemn the militants, and rightly so, for targeted killings and mass murders, but at times, it seems that it is no wonder that their recruits come from among just these people whose sense of “honour” propels them to kill brutally and wantonly in its name.

In yet another case, in Sadiqabad, a man has been accused of killing his sister on suspicion of having an affair. In a particularly brutal killing, he allegedly hit his sister several times with a butcher’s cleaver. In both cases, the police are looking for the alleged culprits who appear to have disappeared. That these men should be caught, and if found guilty put on trial, be severely punished, indeed be made an example out of, cannot be stressed enough. Notions of false honour have prevailed in society for far too long, and are yet another way of perpetuating the feelings of insecurity in people, as well as curtailing their basic freedoms, such as whom to wed. Furthermore, the panchayats usually set up to deliver verdicts on the charged, act as parallel courts and undermine the country’s judicial system. It is only the implementation of strong laws against honour killings and a decisive effort to educate the people that can put an end to this. Until this happens, tribal customs and false notions of honour will prevail, undermining humanity, as well as the state, which ultimately is responsible for the security of its citizens.

Source: The Express Tribune

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