KARACHI, Aug 26: Condemning the barbaric act of burying three women alive in the name of honour in Balochistan, members of civil society and various political parties on Tuesday called for a high-level judicial probe into the incident.
They were speaking at a meeting on violence against women organised by the Aurat Foundation. They urged the relevant authorities to severely punish all those found involved in this heinous crime.
Nusrat Abbasi, MPA of the Pakistan Muslim League (F), said that collective efforts were required at all levels for the elimination of violence against women. She deplored that such incidents were increasing with the passage of time.
She said that the state should play its due role to protect the victims of violence and ensure that fundamental rights, which had been guaranteed in the constitution, were not violated in the name of so-called honour, social or cultural traditions.
Ms Abbasi said that she had also moved a resolution in the Sindh Assembly for the protection of couples who married of their own free will. She urged the parliamentarians, particularly women members, to rise above party politics and join hands on the issue. Anis Haroon of the Aurat Foundation said that civil society should work together to resolve such issues more effectively. She said that efforts should also be made to create awareness among the masses in this regard so that a joint movement could be launched to get the laws that were discriminatory towards the weaker and vulnerable sections of society could be repealed.
Mumtaz Wasee of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that since a popularly-elected political party that believed in moderation and had liberal views was in government so the chances of getting all the discriminatory laws repealed were bright.
She urged all the political forces and civil society to join hands with the government so that suppressive laws could be repealed.
Zahid Farooq of the Urban Resource Centre said that if the culprits involved in the burying alive of the women in Balochistan were not brought to book and punished according to the law, civil society would launch a countrywide movement to press the government to provide justice to the victims.
Hina Tabasum and Sobhya Agha said that if the culprits were punished sternly, according to the law, it could act as a deterrent.
Giving details about such incidents, Lala Hassan of the Aurat Foundation said that a woman was sexually assaulted in the province almost everyday. He said that over 150 incidents of sexual assault were reported with the medico-legal officers in various city hospitals, but neither FIRs were registered nor these were reported in the media.