PESHAWAR: Ill-fated Javaria was just nine when her mother remarried and she got first-hand experience of working as a housemaid. Javaria went missing in December 2016 and her mother, Hasina, registered an FIR at the local police station. Two days later, Javaria’s dead body was found.
Her stepfather, Abbas, was detained, who confessed before the court that he had murdered Javaria in the name of honour. The reason Abbas gave in his defence was that he had caught her talking to someone on her mobile phone. His wife, Hasina, refused to buy the story and insisted that the reason was something else.
Later, an autopsy proved that the child had been raped by her stepfather. The investigation report revealed that Abbas had killed Javaria when she had cried for help and dumped the body on Warsak Road.
Abbas had succeeded in obtaining bail from the Peshawar High Court as, for reasons unknown, Hasina had changed her statement before the court, paving the way for his release.
Talking to The Express Tribune, an official of the Child Protection Unit, Ijaz Khan, said that under the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Child Welfare and Protection Act 2010, sexual abuse of a child was a non-bailable offence, but unfortunately in the case of Javaria sections 36, 44 and 56 had not been included in the FIR, which enabled the accused to take advantage of the omission and get bail.
Women rights activist Shahwana Shah told The Express Tribune that every year in Pakistan, hundreds of women fall victim to crimes committed in the name of honour.
“Lack of proper policies and their timely implementations give the offenders a free hand,” she said. “Domestic violence is also one of the major reasons behind the increase in deaths of women.”
In October last year, the National Assembly of Pakistan had taken a step towards prevention of honour killings, she said, adding that an amendment was made in criminal law as well to provide victims swift justice.
Murder of women and that too in the name of honour is not a new phenomenon in K-P.
In seven months of 2017, around 97 women had been killed across K-P as against a total of 211 in 2016.
Of 97 murdered women, 24 lost their lives in honour killings so far as compared with 44 in 2016.
Data compiled by The Express Tribune suggested that violence against women had been going on non-stop, but its intensity had subsided considerably this year as compared with 2016.
Another women rights activist Rakhshinda Naz, said, “Women are being killed and ‘the name of honour’ is being used to justify this atrocity in Pakistan.”
“Women are murdered across K-P and ‘honour’ is used to justify the brutality in front of society. We have seen cases in which an opponent is killed, and then a daughter, and the whole scenario is given the name of honour killing. Women are considered animals and property in this society.”
A police official told this correspondent that honour killing was just one form of violence against women.
“We, as a law enforcement agency, have been trying our level best to cope with the situation, but the problem is bigger than it seems,” he said. “The ratio of murders of women is higher in K-P as compared with any other province of the country.”
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