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Karo-Kari claims 4,000 lives in six years

KARACHI – Karo-kari is a despicable years-old custom, which has been devouring thousands of innocent lives since its inception and according to the official figure, it has claimed 4,000 lives of both men and women in the country during last six years. Punjab has the highest number of karo-kari incidents followed by Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan.
However, the number of women killed in the name of honour were more than double the number of men killed.

Out of total 2,774 women victims, 1,578 were killed in Punjab, 751 in Sindh, 260 in the NWFP and 185 in Balochistan.

The corresponding figures for men show that 675 were killed in Punjab, 348 in Sindh, 188 in the NWFP and 116 in Balochistan.

The number of cases registered in this respect were less than the number of persons killed during last six years, as 3,451 cases were registered in the country while 4,010 men and women were killed in the name of karo-kari.
Honour killing is originally a Pashtoon-Baloch tradition but the most of the incidents are reported from Sindh and Punjab provinces.

This tradition is known as Karo Kari in Sindh and Siakari in Balochistan. Karo literally means black man and Kari means black woman. But black man and woman are those, who are guilty of having illicit relationship with each other.
The victims include the men and women of all ages. Women victims out number men since men are able to escape to other parts of the country or find sanctuary with other tribes. The standard of honour code is not equally applied to men and women and many men go unpunished.

According to a senior police official, the policemen posted in rural areas in the country have grown up in the same society, where a woman was considered a property of a man, so they have also a favourable response towards the honour killers. This is one of the main reasons that the officials often prepare a weaker case against the killers and they succeed in finding an escape from capital punishment.

When human rights activists and organisations intervene, they are threatened and blamed for misleading the women and disrupting Islamic social fabric.

Lack of education besides social and state apathy play a major role in the continuity of honour killings.
Karo Kari is based on ancient tribal customs and has nothing to do with Islamic teachings. Human life is highly valued in Islam and cannot be taken on the basis of mere allegation or rumor.

A number of police officials and human rights activists observed that the custom of Karo-kari was not being exercised in its actual perspective. The pressing economic pressure, increasing material greed and desire to become rich overnight were noted to be major causes that forced a man to kill other.

Husbands likewise father and brothers declare a woman as Kari by leveling charges of illicit relations with a rich fellow in the village. The killer receives money from the suspected man in order to release him of charge against him and kills his wife, daughter or sister to pardon the suspected man and in this way also gets rid of her share of property as well.

The grave of woman put subject to killing is prepared in advance and none bears any sympathy for her. There is no funeral prayer for her and none is allowed to cry over her body, where honour is paid to the killer. There were also separate graveyards for the Kari.

Source: The Nation