Police say 30-year-old victim attacked with a stick in Vehro village
UMERKOT: A mother of two children was allegedly killed by her husband in Umerkot, one of the Sindh districts, in the name of ‘honour,’ according to local police officials on Monday.
The man attacked the 30-year-old victim, having suspicions about her ‘character,’ with a stick and kept hitting her until she died in Vehro village, the police officials said. The body of the slain woman was handed over to her relatives after an autopsy at the Civil Hospital of Umerkot.
Registering a first investigation report (FIR) against the husband and two others on a complaint of Arjan Oad, the victim’s brother, under relevant sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, the police team arrested the man during a raid.
In Pakistan, young women are still being murdered by relatives for bringing ‘shame’ on their family, a year since new laws came into force aimed at stemming the flow of ‘honour’ killings. In 2016, a joint sitting of both the houses of the parliament passed two key pro-women bills that had been pending assent for a long time.
The move at that time was cautiously hailed by women’s rights activists. However, lawyers and activists say honour killings are still occurring at an alarming pace. At least 280 such murders were recorded by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) from October 2016 to June 2017, a figure believed to be underestimated and incomplete.
The legislation mandates life imprisonment for honour killings, but whether a murder can be defined as a crime of honour is left to the judge’s discretion. That means the culprits can simply claim another motive and still be pardoned, according to Dr Farzana Bari, head of the Gender Studies Department at the Quaid-i-Azam University of Islamabad.