Honor killing remains a pervasive issue in Balochistan, with both men and women falling victim to this heinous crime each year. Women, in particular, bear the brunt of such violence, often rooted in tradition, religious beliefs, and culture. Tragically, fathers, brothers, or other family members commit these acts in the name of honor, believing that women have brought dishonor upon the family.
Various reasons trigger these crimes, ranging from women’s choice of clothing, employment, and pursuit of higher education to seeking divorce or associating with men. Disturbingly, even experiencing sexual assault is considered a valid reason for honor crimes in Balochistan. The core belief of “honor before everything else” is deeply ingrained in Baloch culture, leading to a vehement defense of their heritage and reputation.
The core belief of “honor before everything else” is deeply ingrained in Baloch culture, leading to a vehement defense of their heritage and reputation.
The first reported case of honor killing in Balochistan dates back to 2008 when three teenage girls were tragically buried alive by their own brothers. Regrettably, this brutal practice continues unabated. Women’s rights organizations have documented 49 honor killings in Balochistan, with a significant concentration in the Naseerabad district. The year 2022 alone witnessed 35 individuals falling victim to honor killings, and in August 2023, eight additional cases were reported. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported and remain uninvestigated.
From an Islamic perspective, honor killing is considered a transgression, as it involves taking the life of someone who does not deserve to die. However, the prevalence of such crimes in Balochistan highlights the challenges in addressing this deeply rooted issue. In 2023, the Balochistan government took a step toward gender equality and empowerment by enacting gender policy legislation. Despite this effort, the question remains: has it effectively broken the cycle of gender-based violence? Passing a bill is not the end; the root causes persist, leading to the loss of lives and making women victims of honor killings.
It is crucial for the government to recognize that legislative actions alone are insufficient. A significant, concerted effort is needed to address the entrenched tradition of honor killings. Every individual must realize that there is no honor in taking a life through such barbaric acts.
Source: Daily Times