Stories about honour Killings

Sleeping with the enemy

Today, on June 10, 2014, Pakistan has officially become the biggest joke in the world. This is the second attack to have taken place, one at and one near the largest airports in the country. It came after an emotional morning in which the world was informed that bodies of seven people, remnants of the first attack, who were stuck inside the cold storage area, were retrieved. This, of course, only happened when the media boxed the eardrums of every politician it could reach. Before that… well before that we were asleep. We did wake up though. For a few ...

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The hunt for honour

The sun was up and the air was taking a morning nap. The streets ran the regular barking commotion, And cockcrow shrieks were deafening the pedestrians walking by. The birds crowded the sky as if signalling a warning coming by. The surrounding racket favoured their hunt so much, That some even supposed the gods were on their side that day.   Soon, they spotted their prey, Unescorted, alone, trying her best not to be noticed and mind her way. If only I had an invisibility veil, she thought to herself. Praying under her breath on every step to reach home in one piece.   But they were too many, armed with anything strong and blunt They ...

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What is the point of International Women’s Day anyway?

In the land of technicolour, is there space for grey areas? Welcome to Pakistan. We are rapidly moving towards a positive change, for example, everyone now knows what Aldo sells – everyone who is anyone, that is. Another, more poignant example is how we are all set to celebrate International Women’s Day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for all the right reasons. Or at least that’s what we have been told – be happy on March 8 and go give the next woman you find a pat on the back. She may turn around and slap you but that’s okay. It ...

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Bloodstained honour is not honourable at all

More often than not, I come across distressing stories about women  who are beaten, tortured, maimed, and in some of the worst cases, killed by male (and sometimes even female) members of their families. It never fails to surprise me when I learn that many of these cases are on account of an honour that was supposedly ‘stained’. This ‘staining’ hence serves as an excuse for people to resort to violence – violence against women, in particular – which has always been a global pandemic. One of the most recent of such horrid stories, or so-called ‘honour-killings’, occurred in Darra Adam ...

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Shafilea’s honour killing: Will we ever learn?

Like so many second or third generation British Pakistani girls, Shafilea Ahmed wanted to socialise with her ‘gora’ (white) friends, wear western clothes and have a boyfriend. The reality was very different and sour; daily beatings, turning up to school with cuts and bruises, a life of violence subjected by her parents Iftikhar and Farzana, which eventually led to her death in 2003. The police shied away from the word ‘honour’ this time and instead insisted that Shafilea was just murdered, simply murdered. Despite the cultural sensitivity from the Cheshire police, it is clear that an honour killing ...

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Javed Chaudhry’s misogynistic excuse for violence against women

In a column published on April 1 in the Urdu newspaper Daily Express, Javed Chaudhry  expresses his disapproval for a man who had paid another Rs100,000 to attack his estranged wife by throwing acid on her face.  Even in his attempted condemnation, the language he uses to describe her injuries is detailed, graphic and inappropriate.  “Hadiyan nangi ho gain. Aankh ubal kar bahir aa gai” (Bones were bare. The eye was singed and protruding) But then, these descriptions become downright pornographic as his ultimate thesis becomes apparent; perhaps, women incite violence because of their own insubordination, give or take a few innocent victims.  The narrative focuses ...

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