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In the Name of God بسم الله

Burying Alive Five Women In Balochistan

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Uproar in Senate over burying of women alive

ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: The Senate strongly condemned on Monday the burying alive of five women in Balochistan in the name of family honor and demanded severe punishment of people who committed the crime.

The senators expressed serious concern over what they called a deliberate hush-up of the killing and then its attribution to Baloch tribal traditions. Saying that there was no such tradition in the Baloch society they urged the government to ensure that such crimes were not committed in future.

The government presented a report which gave a ‘twist’ to the incident by changing the burying of the women alive into the killing and then burying and said it was the result of a land dispute and not a case of honor killing as had been reported.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik informed the house that according to the local police report three women -- Fauzia, Fatima and Jannat Bibi -- had been killed following a land dispute.

However, he pointed out that the IG Balochistan had a different version and he said that the three women had been taken in a taxi to some place and brought back the following day and gunned down and buried.

The adviser did not mention the incident as of ‘burying alive’. But, he assured the house that the culprit(s) would be punished in accordance with the law.

He said the Balochistan High Court had already taken suo moto notice of the incident and justice would be done.

“We have rejected a preliminary report and sought a detailed report. The killing for honour is not confined to only Balochistan; such incidents also take place in other provinces.” The house unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the incident. It was moved by Yasmeen Shah and Wasim Sajjad of the PML-Q. Senators in their speeches criticized Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri’s statement that the incident was part of Baloch tribal traditions.

The resolution said: “This house strongly condemns the gruesome incident of killing/burying alive of five Baloch women and demands meting out stern punishment to those involved in the crime.”

Acting chairman of Senate Jan Mohammad Jamali, who appeared perturbed over what he called ‘out of proportion’ coverage to the incident, said: “It is not a matter of mere sloganeering. It pertained to five women. The media gave the matter such a colour as if heavens have fallen.”

Leader of the House Raza Rabbani urged Mr Jamali to send the matter to the house committee on human rights which might co-opt the parties having no representation in it to visit the area and investigate the incident and report back to the house.

Earlier, Haji Mohammad Adeel of the ANP said: “We hold Baloch Sardars in high esteem but we cannot allow anyone to bury women alive.”

Prof Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat-i-Islami said no jirga or tradition allowed killing women in such a manner. He demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F attributed the incident to the so-called women protection bill and proposed necessary amendments to the law.

Abdul Rahim Mandokhel of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party said: “All decisions should be made in accordance with the law of land.”

Ishaq Dar of the PML-N deplored the remarks of some lawmakers mingling the violation of law with tribal traditions.

D A W N

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There are certain senators (from balochistan) who were defending this act and were saying that its an age old baloch custom.

That is stupid, such senators should be banned for life...and tried.. They must learn to live by Law and Regulations of the government or at least by their sect-religion that they claim they follow! these animals should never make to the government and then support such barbaric tribalism way of life..

-gangbang of females (rape), burying alive, badd, and etc.. must be punished by the government by death!

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Balochistan has a deeply patriarchal and conservative culture, in which ' honour killings' are commonplace. In 2007, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported 636 honour killings, of which least 61 victims were minors, and according to official data presented in Pakistan�s Senate, over 4000 people were killed between 2002 and 2008 in the name of 'family honour'. [3]

In August 2008, the Asian Human Rights Commission reported that five women (including three teenagers) in a remote village had been beaten, shot and buried alive in a ditch for the 'crime' of having wished to choose their own husbands. One of the tribesmen involved was the younger brother of a provincial minister from the ruling Pakistan People's Party, and local police therefore refused to take any action. [4]

After human rights activists brought the case to national and international attention, Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Balochistan in the Pakistani Parliament, defended the killings and asked his fellow legislators not to make a fuss about the incident. He told Parliament, "These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them. Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."

This is Mir Israr Ullah Zehri, a senator from the Baluchistan provice of Pakistan.

Six weeks back, three girls (teenagers, age 16-18) and two older women were abducted by men from the Umrani tribe. They were shot first, and while injured, thrown into a pit and buried alive. Their crime? Wishing to choose the men they would get married to. The two elder women were their mothers, killed possibly because they were sympathetic to the girls’ wishes. Their bodies were found half-eaten by animals.

It became a scandal, the Asian Human Rights Commission confirmed the inhuman murders, and when a woman senator Bibi Yasmin Shah raised it in Pakistan’s parliament, Mir Israr Ullah Zehri stood up.

This is what he said:

“These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them.â€

“Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.â€

Mir Israr Ullah Zehri told the stunned Pakistan parliament on Friday that such Baluch tribal traditions helped stop obscenity. He demanded that other legislators should not make a big issue out of it.

How did the Upper House (Senate) react to this outrageous observation?

With silence. Only three other senators supported Bibi Yasmin Shah, the rest kept quiet.

For those of you who do not know, women have very little freedom or choice in their lives in many tribal societies, and when they dare go against the wishes of their families or against tribal traditions, this is what happens to them. Honour killings, as they are called, are practised in many tribal and feudal societies.

We can’t do much about it, of course.

The Pakistani government is treading carefully - it does not like to upset politicians from the Baluchistan province.

Honor killings are nothing new in many backward Asian societies (I am an Asian - no racial prejudice intended), and very common in the rural parts of Pakistan. But it is rarely, anywhere in the world, that you find a senator defending the practice in a parliament.

Links

The page of Mir Israr Ullah Zehri from the Pakistan Senate website

News from The Nation, Pakistan

Globe and Mail

Edited by Rashida
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