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Swift justice in Karo-Kari cases urged

KARACHI – Zia Ahmed Awan, President, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA), vehemently condemned the recent murder of a newly-wed girl within the Ghotki police jurisdiction and demanded of the concerned authorities to take swift action in the murder case.

It may be mentioned here that 17 years old Khadija, daughter of Ghulam Akber Kalad, married Ghotki Police wireless operator Abbas Kolachi in a Shikarpur court four days earlier. The Jirga declared them Karo-Kari following which they moved to Larkana. The elders of Kaladi tribe reached Larkana in search of the couple, but before they could harm the couple, the Larkana police took them in custody to save their lives.

Later the couple was handed over to the Ghotki police as Khadija’s cousin lodged a kidnapping case with them. Abbas Kolachi was sent to lock-up and Khadija was kept in the residential quarter of the investigating sub-inspector Ghulam Muhammed Hakro.

On Friday, Abbas, on the insistence of an elder of his clan divorced Khadija in front of Mufti Saeed Ahmed Chishti of Ghotki. According to reports four armed men stormed the police quarters and shot the girl dead and fled the scene. However, an FIR was lodged against the unknown assailants.

Advocate Zia Awan, however, pleaded with the concerned High Court or Supreme Court to intervene in all Karo-Kari cases. He further condemned the Jirga system that allows this evil practice to flourish. The government, in coordination with the civil society organizations, he said, should establish an adequate system of institutional protection, including better facilities relating to custody, shelter, and education.

In order to abolish the practice, the government and civil society organisations should start awareness campaigns targeting the areas from where majority of the cases are being reported.

Different Human Rights organisations estimated that at least 631 women and girls were killed by family members in so-the called honour killings; however, many more women are believed to be affected by this crime.

According to UNICEF, about half the honour killing deaths took place in Sindh, and it is believed that many more cases go unreported in Balochistan and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Source: The News

Date:9/28/2004

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