Joined: 08 December 2004
I know this post does not belong here.. but being a woman myself, and knowing that most of us here are women…. I would like to share this with you guys…
Honour shames Pak
[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 08:10:38 pmREUTERS ]
KARACHI: Ayesha Baloch was dragged to a field, her brother-in-law held the 18-year-old down, her husband sat astride her legs and slit her upper lip and nostril with a knife.
They call such assaults on women a matter of 'honour' in some Pakistani communities, but for the majority it is a source of national shame. Married less than two months ago in Pakistan's central district of Dera Ghazi Khan, Baloch was accused of having sexual relations with another man before marriage.
"First they tortured me and beat me. I started screaming. Akbar then caught my hands and pulled me to the ground. Essa sat on my legs and cut my nose and lips," Baloch mumbled through her bandages at hospital in the city of Multan.
"I was bleeding and started screaming after they fled on a motorcycle. People heard me and rescued me and took me to my mother's home." At least she wasn't killed.
More than 1,000 women are slain by their husbands or relatives, and that is just the reported, not actual, number of 'honour killings' in Pakistan each year.
Many killings are planned rather than done in rage, and the motive often has more to do with money or settling scores. The same week, a world away from Baloch's village, social activists, parliamentarians and community leaders gathered in the suburban, leafy capital of Islamabad to launch a campaign — 'We Can End Honour Killing".
Farhana Faruqi Stocker, country director of international aid agency Oxfam, said some 10,000 people called "change-makers" had signed up so far. But Stocker knows two constituencies will be vital to the campaign's success.
"The mindset of legislators has to be changed in order for good legislation to come out," Stocker said. But she is well aware that there are many remote rural areas of Pakistan where maulvis, or clerics, exert more influence than local government and federal law. "In order to bring change, we have to engage with clerics." Pakistan is a country living in many centuries at once.
Its small, Westernized elite embrace the 21st, conservative clerics preach strict interpretations of Islam from the Middle Ages, while many of its poor rural communities are governed by tribal customs going back long before Islam arrived.
Honor killings are known as "karo-kari" killings. A woman is deemed a "black woman", a "kari", once she is accused of having sex outside of marriage and is liable to be killed. "Karo" is the male version.
The custom is rooted in tribalism, although a strict interpretation of Islam's hudood penal code also rules that adulterers should be stoned to death. A former president of Pakistan, Farooq Ahmed Leghari, comes from Dera Ghazi Khan.
He says it will take more than laws to change society there, or places like it. "To fight this menace you need social movements involving people from all segments of society," Leghari said after the launch of the campaign against 'honour killings'.
President Pervez Musharraf champions enlightenment, but critics say he has achieved little due to the influence of tribal chieftains, feudal lords and religious parties in parliament.
A law enacted last year set a minimum 10-year jail sentence for perpetrators of so-called honour killings. But rights lawyer Rashid Rehman said crimes are more often covered up by families, and police prefer not to get involved.
"Those arrested are often freed for lack of evidence or after reconciling with the victims' families, in most cases close relatives," he said.
While police have taken Ayesha Baloch's assailants into custody, along with their father who egged them on, she has low expectations of justice; "They are powerful people with money, and will get out on bail."
Joined: 06 October 2005
Joined: 06 October 2005
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Joined: 18 February 2006
this is true...no God will have mercy for such rascals. Specially when they use the name of Islam & Allah to do such disgusting deeds.
Joined: 01 July 2005
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