In patriarchal structures where women are treated as an agency of men, honour killings still remain a sad reality of Pakistan. However, these crimes are not only restricted to women and the majority of these cases take the lives of both men and women for choosing to lead lives on their own terms.
Bakhat Jan was only 15 years old when along with her lover, Ghani Rehman, 17, were killed in the name of honour. Both teenagers were murdered by giving electric shocks by their own family members on the order of a tribal council in Karachi. Their crime? Both eloped and wanted to marry each other.
Another woman was murdered by her own husband for her wish to continue her job. When she refused to quit working in the factory she was employed in, he murdered her and cut her body into several pieces.
13 years old Naghma was ordered to be killed to restore honour as she was accused to running away with ‘men’ by the tribal council in KPK. She was rescued by security forces and released in the custody of her own family – who killed her later.
These are few of the countless bone-chilling incidents that made to our media headlines, but we failed to still cater to the issue even in this time. As reported by HRCP (The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan), 737 cases of honour killing or honour crimes were reported between June 2017 and August 2018 i.e. over the course of one year only. What is more horrifying is that they are not even the exact statistics. Due to the societal stigmatization, majority of these cases go unreported.
While rest of the world is talking about shattering glass ceiling, in Pakistan such regressive traditions are still prevalent. Unfortunately we have failed to do anything and devise effective laws to curb the issue.
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