Honour Killings in Balochistan

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Honour Killings in Balochistan 

Editorial 

Recent murders of two women and two men in the name of ‘honour’ in Balochistan is a gruesome reminder of past cold-blooded murders on the pretext of protecting honour. A father killed his 18-year old daughter along with another person in Balochistan’s Naseerabad district the other day. Killings of women in Naseerabad and Jaffarabad districts appeared to be rampant in the name of honour killings. The two districts have been influenced by some areas of Sindh province when it comes to this brutal custom.

However, this brutal custom continues to spread in various parts of northern Balochistan as well. In the recent past, repeated incidents of killings in the name of Karo Kari or ‘honour killings’ have taken a place.  Two days back, in a similar terrible incident, a man and a woman were killed in Killi Bakhtayarabad area of Dukki district of Balochistan. Police termed both horrible incidents as ‘honour killings’. In both incidents, relatives were killers and they are still at large.

‘Honour killings’ are also termed as domestic violence since in most of the cases close relatives of the victims are murderers. Aurat Foundation, a non-governmental organization has also termed impunity as one of the underlying reasons behind increasing acts of ‘honour killings’.

This year, the so-called ‘honour’ has claimed 16 lives of women in different parts of Balochistan. These are reported and registered cases as per the statistics shared by the UN Women Sub-Office in Quetta. Most of the killings in the name of ‘honour’ go unnoticed due to tribal taboos and poor administration. We do not know how many other lives are being wiped out behind the silence of the chadar aur char devari cannot be guessed.

Levies that administratively control 95 per cent of the area of Balochistan are influenced by the tribal elites. Rarely such cases are registered in levies administered areas. Although, Pakistan has enacted some reasonable laws to bring an end to this terrifying custom. However, there seems to be no end at the end of the tunnel.

The Balochistan government has recently approved the women empowerment bill. However, passing legislation is hardly enough to effect change in societal attitudes and break the vicious cycle of gender-based violence. In this male-dominated society, it is a bitter fact that regressive societal attitudes towards women label them as commodities, second class citizens, and financial liabilities to families.

Apart from improving the law and sensitising agents of the justice system, there is a dire need for comprehensive community outreach to combat the tacit acceptance of such ‘traditions’ in our society. The society needs to be sensitizedd that it is murder, not honour.

Honour Killings in Balochistan 

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