ISLAMABAD – At least 15, 222 women fell prey to menace of honour killing in last 12 years despite fact that the federal and provincial governments have increased punishments for people who commit this heinous crime.
Report published by Petarian Human Rights Organization (PHRO) states that at least 4,734 cases of sexual harassment, 5,508 cases of women abduction were notified in last 12 years whereas 1,535 women were set ablaze and 35,935 women committed suicide during same period.
Likewise, 1843 women were subjected to domestic violence.
PHRO Chairman Ehsan Ali Khosa deplores absence of legislation to stop violence against women.
“On October 30-2011 in Jacobabad, Reema and Imran Chachar tie the knot upon which Jirga announced Rs2lac prize money for their killing.
“Likewise, disabled Nusrat Billo was also tried to be killed for restoration of honour in Mahesar Goth area of Ghotki.
“Similarly, Shikarpur’s Gulshan Shar escaped murder attempt by her husband and took shelter in Darul Aman, said Khosa.
Last year 1100 cases of honour killing were reported, but the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) estimates at least another 1,000 went unreported.
“We need to change the mindset of the society,” says Abdul Hai from the HRCP.
The perpetrators of honour killings — in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative on the pretext of defending family “honour” — often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.
A 2005 amendment to the law pertaining to honour killings prevented men who kill female relatives pardoning themselves as an “heir” of the victim.
But punishment was left to a judge’s discretion when other relatives of the victim forgive the killer — a loophole which critics say had been exploited.
Last year, the National Assembly passed a bill, mandating judges to sentence someone who kills in the name of “honour” to life imprisonment, even if they have been forgiven and thereby avoid the death penalty.