Honour killing

Another vile honour killing on March 13 was added to Pakistan’s growing list of barbaric crimes that threaten to lead it into a deep, dark abyss from which it cannot return. This time, the incident took place in the tribal northwest town of Parachinar and the victim was a 25-year-old army soldier charged by a jirga for having an affair with a local girl. He was sentenced to death by stoning, while there is some confusion on the girl’s fate — reports claim that she, too, may have been ordered to be executed, though she has denied the affair, but it is not clear whether the order has been carried out. Lest anyone be foolish enough to think that the young woman will not be killed, think again. These are antiquated notions of honour that many people profess to defend that have no room in today’s world and, most importantly, are clearly against the laws of Pakistan. A crime has been committed, and if the girl is alive, a bloody needless crime can be stopped immediately if the sleepy law enforcers can be sprung into action and sent to Parachinar to a) arrest the jira members who acted as judge, jury and executioners and b) safeguard the girl and her family from victimisation and threats.

Admittedly, the numbers on honour killing are difficult to verify because not each crime is always reported to the authorities or by the media but the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that nearly 1,000 women were murdered in honour killings in 2011; this figure was up by more than 100 from the previous year. It is simply unacceptable that a man and a woman can so callously be killed for making their own choices. That this happens day in and day out while a government and its agencies sit by idly is tantamount to criminal negligence. Let this young soldier’s tragic death not be in vain and ensure that not only is the girl saved, but also that other people are saved from similar fates.

Source: The Express Tribune

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