The most appalling aspect of the recent murder of teenager Sughra Brohi from Sanghar was not just her alleged live burial for the crime of marrying of her free will. The more inhumane response is that such criminality is normalised through the illegal institutions of male-dominant jirgas which sit and posthumously negotiate for financial profit to be made across the murdered woman’s dead body. Sughra’s family is complicit and the current legal lapses allow such injustice even after a woman’s death in Pakistan. The Women’s Action Forum demands that apart from taking suo motu notice of this case, the state must expand its writ to stem this epidemic by: 1) making immediate and pre-emptive arrests of all members of jirgas wherever they are reportedly operating or, in cases when they are about to pass ‘judgement’; 2) empowering police and local administration to do the first but simultaneously holding them accountable if jirgas are allowed to operate in their districts; 3) penalise those members of parliament found to be colluding with, condoning, ignoring or actively participating in jirgas; and 4) immediate repeal of the Qisas and Diyat laws that allow men to get away with honour crimes through financial deals.
WAF is embarrassed that members of provincial and national assemblies, particularly women legislators, are silent rather than spearheading such cases against the political party members who are responsible for constituencies where these atrocities are taking place.
Women’s Action Forum