Jigra’s Need to Go!
most reported cases, the harshest punishments on grounds of “honour” come from male-dominated jirgas, tribal and village councils. There
are no credible official figures on “honor” killings because they often go unreported. Most cases often happen in small villages or behind closed doors and do not reflect the full extent of the issue, as honour killings have a high level of support
in Pakistan’s rural society. Data and its absence are difficult to interpret. One reason is the reluctance to report honour killings to official bodies. Another reason is that honour killings are occurring in cultural and social contexts which
do not recognize the criminality of honour killings.
According to Human Rights Watch, NGOs/INGOs in the area estimate that around 2000 honor killings are carried out each year in Pakistan. Although not specific to honor killing, historically, the highest reported cases for violence
against women in Pakistan are in the Punjab province.
In one of the most publicized honor killing cases committed in Pakistan, Samia Sarwar was murdered by her
family in the Lahore office of well-known human rights activists Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani in April 1999. BBC documentary, “License to Kill,” coversSamia’s killing in Pakistan.
Amnesty International reported that on 27 April 2009, Ayman Udas, a Pashtun singer from the Peshawar area, was shot to
death apparently by her two brothers who “viewed her divorce, remarriage and artistic career as damaging to family honor.” No one was prosecuted.
A widely reported
case was that of Tasleem Khatoon Solangi, 17, of Hajna Shah village in Khairpur district, where in eight months’ pregnant Tasleem was tortured and killed on March 7, 2008, by members of her village claiming that she had brought dishonor to the tribe.
In August 2008, five women were killed by tribesmen of the Umrani
Tribe of Balochistan. The five victims – three teens, and two middle-aged women – were kidnapped, beaten, shot, and then buried alive because they refused the tribal leader’s marriage arrangements and wanted to marry men of their own choosing.
Sadly, Senator Israr Ullah Zehri defending the killings, stating, “these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them.
27 May 2014, a pregnant woman named Farzana Iqbal was stoned to death by her family in front of a Pakistani High Court for eloping and marrying Muhammad Iqbal. Police investigator Mujahid quoted the father as saying: “I killed my daughter as she had
insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it.”
In 2015, a documentary was released about Saba Qaiser, a woman from Punjab, Pakistan, who married a man against her family’s wishes because his family was of “lowly status.” In response to
her elopement, her father and uncle beat her, shot her in the head, put her body in a sack, and threw the sack into a river. Amazingly, Saba survived the violent attack, escaped the sack, swam to shore, and was able to get help at a local gas station.