`Domestic violence and honour killings` -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

`Domestic violence and honour killings`

THIS is apropos of Raja Masroor Hassan Qazi`s letter `Domestic violence and honour killings` (Nov 27).

The writer has lucidly said that honour killing is a major human rights issue that has received little attention outside human rights` groups and women activist networks.

However, it is important to understand that the concept of honour killings is not to be found in the Holy Quran and teachings of Islam.

A double murder is also committed if a man and a woman decide to marry of their own choice.

In many cases, the women victim might be the murderer`s sister, formr wife or some other relative.

Since the murderer also pretends to be the aggrieved party, he can twist the case in his favour by pleading that his honour was soiled, and that he had no other recourse but to kill the offender. Even close relatives of the slain also forgive the killer.

It is an extremely sorry state of affairs that cases of honour killings are increasing day by day and nobody is there to raise voice against it, owing to fear.

Indeed, the number of atrocities committed in the name of honour runs high every year. It is only because of high ignorance.

Besides, the reasons behind it vary according to the nature of the situation.

This despicable custom has filtered down to all social classes, urban and rural.

The gruesome crime is committed in the name of honour to cover up property disputes, to avenge an old and festering enmity, or if a woman asks for divorce from an abusing husband, or to defend a murderer who has killed a man and tried to cover it up by killing an innocent woman, accusing the victims of being karo-kari.

The problem will persist until concrete steps are taken to root out the cause of honour killing. It is imperative that we train and re-orient the police, and include religious leaders.

Religious leaders must be convinced that this practice goes against the Holy Quran and should be asked to teach people in their sermons and the children in madressahs what a heinous crime this brutal murder is.

If we start now, we can hope that at least our next generation would become more sensitized in abstaining from crimes of this sort.

NADIR ALI SHAH
Larkana
Source: Dawn
Date:12/6/2010