Parties urged to include karo-kari issue in their manifesto
ISLAMABAD, May 23 2006: Political parties must make karo-kari (honour killing) issue a part of their manifesto to end all types of violence against women. This demand was made by an alliance of politicians, community leaders, religious figures, women groups and NGOs at a press conference on May 22, on the launch of ‘We Can End Honour Killing’ campaign.
The alliance members present on the occasion included Kishwar Naheed, Iqbal Mallah, Oxfam representatives from Punjab Dr Fakhrul Islam and from Sindh Saleem Khosa.
The alliance jointly demanded of the political parties to oppose killings in the name of honour as one of their top political agenda items in the upcoming elections. The alliance would also conduct all parties’ conferences all over the country to bring political parties on broad in its efforts against the honour killing.
According to gender violence reports, from January to April, 158 women and 56 men had been killed in the name of karo-kari in Sindh. In NWFP and Punjab provinces, 76 women and men had been killed this year. The alliance members said that a social movement was needed to end violence against women and honour killings. They said that 1000 to 1500 cases of honour killing were reported in the country every year, which make a tiny part of the actual cases. Most of the cases were not being reported and treated as private family matter or reported as suicide, they added. Oxfam Country Representative Farhana Faruqi said that the campaign was started in those 25 districts of the country where honour killings are common.
Around 500 people, including public and government representatives, human rights activists, intellectuals, lawyers and teachers would attend the national launch, adding that former president Farooq Ahmad Leghari would be the chief guest at the inaugural session, she said. At the national launch, a theatre festival would highlight discriminatory laws and negative attitudes leading to violence against women. Five theatre groups were taking part in the festival, she added.
Farhana said that the campaign would be started with Oxfam’s support as a part of South Asian Movement in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, which would continue till 2011.
Source: B. Recorder