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Senate body slams slow progress in honour killing probe

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights criticised the authorities on Monday for not arresting those involved in burying alive women in Balochistan, five months after the so-called honour killings.

The committee – which met here under Senator Latif Khosa — has now directed police and other departments to submit a detailed investigation report on the incident by January 15. Dissatisfied with the progress made so far in the investigation, the committee said “influential people responsible for committing the crime are still at large”. Members have urged police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Five months on from the killings, it is still not clear whether five women were buried alive, as reported by the media, or two, as reported by police. The Senate body branded the killings ‘a crime against humanity’, and said the incident did not have a precedent in recent history. Latif Khosa – who is also the attorney general of Pakistan — condemned the killings, and said he would himself direct the Balochistan advocate general to take steps to make headway in the probe. Earlier, National Police Bureau Director General Tariq Khosa briefed the committee on the ‘honour killings’ in Naseerabad district of Balochistan and the progress made so far in the investigation.

He said 11 suspects had been arrested, and raids were being made to arrest more people. Representatives of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the National Commission on the Status of Women also briefed the committee on their views on the matter. The committee also directed the Interior Ministry to submit a report on the murder of Taslim Solangi — who was sentenced to death by a jirga in Sindh eight months into her pregnancy.

The committee also took notice of attacks on schools in Swat and threats to female teachers and workers, and asked the Interior Ministry for a report on the subject. Resolutions: The senate body adopted two unanimous resolutions — one condemning the Israeli attacks on Gaza and another on Sunday’s suicide attack in Bunir.

In the resolution on Gaza, the committee strongly condemned the brutal Israeli offensive which has so far killed more than 300 people. The committee took notice of the ‘West’s silence’ over the ‘genocide of Muslims’. Members expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine, and called for an immediate end to the violence. In the other resolution, the committee condemned the bombing in Bunir that has killed 40 people. Senators Dr Khalid Ranjha, Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani, Prof Khurshid Ahmed, Hafiz Rashid Ahmed , Saadia Abbasi, Abdur Rahim Khan Mandokhail, Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Maulana Samiul Haq, Yasmeen Shah, Jamal Leghari and Haji Muhammad Adeel attended the meeting.
Source: Daily Times
Date:12/30/2008

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