PM takes notice of woman's brutal murder outside LHC
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News / AFP) – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday took notice of the killing of a woman by her brothers outside Lahore High Court (LHC).
He said that incidents of ‘killing for honour’ in the presence of police were deplorable. .He directed to bring the culprits to justice.
The PM directed Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take immediate action against the culprits. He directed to submit the report of the incident to the PM s House by this (Thursday) evening.
It is pertinent to mention here that 25-year-old Farzana Parveen on Tuesday was attacked and brutally killed by her brothers outside Lahore High Court for marrying a man of her own choice.
According to AFP, the husband of the woman vowed Wednesday to fight for justice.
Parveen, whom police earlier identified as Farzana Iqbal , had gone to testify in defence of her husband Muhammad Iqbal -- who was accused by her relatives of kidnapping her and forcing her into the marriage.
Speaking to AFP by telephone from his home village of Jaranwala where he had gone to bury Parveen earlier on Wednesday, Iqbal said: "We demand justice. We were being threatened since we got married."
The 45-year-old said he and his wife had survived a previous attack during the first hearing of the case on May 12.
"On Tuesday as we were going to court from our lawyer s office almost 30 people attacked us, including her father, brothers and cousins," he said.
The group of 10 or so people accompanying him were overwhelmed by the suddenness of the attack and fled in all directions, he said.
"One of her brothers shot at her but missed, then the women in their group fell upon her and her brother and father finished her off," said Iqbal.
"The most painful thing is that nobody came forward to save my wife, the police were there and hundreds of lawyers were there along with ordinary men, but they all just watched like spectators."
Police officer Mushtaq Muhammed said Parveen s father Muhammad Azeem had been detained while five others -- two brothers and three cousins -- remained at large.
Another police officer, Rana Akhtar, told AFP police were launching raids in the Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province to arrest the accused.
- Growing apathy
Despite the gruesome and public nature of the killing in Pakistan s most liberal city, media reaction has been relatively muted -- indicating what activists said was a growing apathy within society amid rising extremism.
"The court s regular resident police force was mysteriously absent from the scene, unable to take preventive action -- or to provide protection or pre-emption to this and countless other foregone and foretold dis-honour killing cases," said Tahira Abdullah, a prominent women s rights campaigner.
Feminist Samina Rehman added: "The incident occurred in front of hundreds of people but nobody stepped forward to save them because people are afraid of mob justice.
"People don t speak up because they fear that they would either be framed for blasphemy or declared un-Islamic."
Last year 869 women died in so-called "honour killings" according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Conviction rates are very low due to Pakistan s blood-money laws which allow kin to forgive perpetrators, usually family members in such cases.
In a statement, the rights commission said Parveen s father had shown no remorse when he surrendered to the police, adding: "Such brazen actions have been encouraged by the authorities failure to fulfil their duty to protect citizens lives." Iqbal, however, was undeterred.
"There are no hurdles. Each and every single individual has been named and everybody saw them so there should not be any delay in bringing the perpetrators to justice," he said.
-UN rights chief urges action against culprits-
United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday strongly deplored the incident.
She urged the Government to do much more to prevent such killings.
“I am deeply shocked by the death of Farzana Parveen, who, as in the case of so many other women in Pakistan, was brutally murdered by members of her own family simply because she married a man of her own choice,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
“I do not even wish to use the phrase ‘honour killing’: there is not the faintest vestige of honour in killing a woman in this way,” she added in a news release, which also noted that Pakistan has one of the highest rates of violence against women globally.
“Every year, hundreds of women are killed in Pakistan as a punishment for marrying a man their families have not chosen or for refusing an arranged marriage,” Ms. Pillay said.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 869 women were murdered in so-called ‘honour killings’ in the country last year, but the real figure could be much higher, with many such killings believed to be disguised as accidents, or not reported at all.
“The Pakistani Government must take urgent and strong measures to put an end to the continuous stream of so-called ‘honour killings’ and other forms of violence against women,” said Ms. Pillay.
“They must also make a much greater effort to protect women like Farzana Parveen. The fact that she was killed on her way to court, shows a serious failure by the State to provide security for someone who – given how common such killings are in Pakistan – was obviously at risk.”
The UN General Assembly, in three separate resolutions in 2001, 2003 and 2005, called on Member States to intensify legislative, educational, social and other efforts to prevent and eliminate “honour”-based crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.