In PakistanMurders in the name of honour are prevalent, mostly in rural areas however someincidence are reported in urban cities of Pakistan. Named differently accordingto region, Karo kari in Sindh, kala kali in Punjab, siyakari in Balochistan,and tor tora in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. according to a survey (Thomson ReutersFoundation Trust 2011) Pakistan is number three in the world most dangerouscountries for women. In Sindhthis is a deep rooted custom, the practice of karo kari is believe to wash offfamily dishonour, practiced largly in tribal areas of Kashmore,Khairpur, Shikarpur, sukkur, Ghotki and Jacobabad.
.In sindhiculture woman is considered as a property of man, woman are considered inferior to man and symbol offamily respect and she cant marry a man of her choice most of the time fatherdecide for her daughters marriage , when she commit adultery, demand fordivorce, If a girl is raped she isassumed to be a reason of shame for family, and she is killed to sustain familyhonour, even rumours of her smiling talking sitting calling to a man other thanhusband apart from any sexual relation,Many cases are reported for honourkilling where agricultural lands are main resource of income. So many peopleplot karo kari like an industry, karo kari is not considered as a crime, andmost of the time murderers are backed by family. In most cases the family ofaccused woman does not have any solid reasons of adultery. Even educatedfamilies where such a incidence occurs practice it and they sacrifice woman topreserve their family honour, or forced by social pressure. Although it’s agender neutral killing but often women are killed, men most of the time runaway or they demand a women for marriageirresepective with whom that girl will be married sometime the groom is of herfathers age belonging to the family of woman , or approached by his relativefor compensation of money which is called as Qisas which is one of the deadlyevil of society which give a way to murderer to walk out with freedom, sometimethey offer land or cash.women doest have such alternatives.
Exactstatistics is unknown due to under-reporting of such inciden because most ofthe time they hide it . according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 2012,every year 1000 women and girls are killed in Pakistan. According to Researchand Development for Human Resource for the year 2011 in 2012, 605 women and 115men were murdered in the name of karo kari. According to official datapublished by Pakistani senate in 2004, the highest number of reported karo karicases were in Punjab, then in Sindh, then in North_West Frontier Province andthen in South_western Province of Baluchistan. According to Nafeesa shah,1998, In sindh Jacobabad is leading inhonour killings around 55 to 60 cases a month, she collected data from 1995_2004 from 1482 registered cases inwhich 16,00 plus killings accured, only 3% ended conviction because in thesecases there were no political interferenence, at most of the cases statejudiciary and human right activitist are helpless, and parliamentarian for whomthis system is survival don’t create laws against it.In islamkilling is not allowed in any way, karo kari is unislamic practice.
If we goback and try to find out the root of honour killing in India it may evolved from custom of sati.According to the custom of satti when a man died woman burn herself with herhusband. During British rule in India Sir Charles James Napier ban thispractice and made a law of punishment. But still that custom wascontinued. Sir Charles james napierarrived in sindh in 1848 and he banned karo kari in Sindh as well. Sindhi culture is not inclined to violence against woman, They were morefocused to their land expansion, wealth. Now question is how it became a custom of sindhi culture.
It is assumedthat its came from baloch tribal areas as they have intense attitude towardwoman. Because of more empowerning resources and good supply of water in Sindhbaloch people started to come to sindh, as soon as Baloch people moved to sindhcultural changes occurred. And karo kari custom penetrated in sindhi culture,and today in sindh leading honour killing occurs in Jacobabad which is highlypopulated baloch city.
Jirga play anpivoted role in the judgement of honour killing, and its like a decision makingassembly of tribe or tribal council who are most of the time uneducated anddon’t have knowledge of human rights law, which is a result of feudal socialstructure and politically influenced culture, particularly those who areinfluencial like sardar chief of triberun jirga,who has unchallenged authority and most of the time they are themember of parliamentarian and state try its best to not to take any actionagainst them. most of the time state support jirga system and influencialpeople violates free and transparent probe if humen right activitist raisetheir voice. Both parties agrees the decision of sardar, each party nominatesrepresentatives or advisors, the advisors have full knowledge of murders andthey disclose it in jirga , chief discuss it with advisors and then he announcethe verdict in publicly. Jirgais illegal in Pakistan, but according to Asian Human Rights Commission, 2010 “therule of tradition is often more powerful than the rule of law”. In sindh jirgasystem is less potent as compare to Balochistan and north west frontierof Pakistan, its very common in ruralparts of Pakistan because it’s a cheaper, faster and more lkasting alternativeto settle legal cases and disputes.
althoughfamilies can decide independeblty between the four walls of a house to murder awoman driven by family customs and traditions, in rural areas jirga is the onlyjudiciary and administrative forum. Jirga hasnegative impact on society and perpetrator not only escape punishment but alsobecome a hero ih his society which encourage others to kill women(daughter,wife, sister) in the name of honour.International human right law considerkaro kari as a social crime.According to UN (Convention on the Elimination ofAll Forms of Discrimination against Women) CEDAW women has right to choose partnerof her life. It bound state to prevent and protect women from gender basedviolence.
It is clearly stated in article 4 of CEDAW “states should condemnviolence against women and should not invole any custom, tradition or religiousconsiderationto avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination” .United nations has a clear strategy for human rights especially women rightsdeprivation, UNO has a organize machinery , they organized committees. officeof the high commissioner of human rights(OHCHR) trying to elevate human rightsthrough reforms.
United nations role is not effective because of local powersand states corrupt system at micro level. Here local NGOs are more effectivethan UNO , NGOs pressurize government by street protest, and force corrupt governmentsystem to conduct a transparent probe. On 1st April 2006, gendercrime cell was established in National Bureau to tackle violence against women.
National Bureau welcome NGOs if they raise their voice are obliged to providethem protection.Honour killing is not an easy battle towin. I believe education is the only tool which can eradicate this evil. Becauseonce they will be educated there will be more empowerment and better life, increasingunemployement means increased frustration, crime, anger, inflation in thesystem. All these factors leads to violence against women.
for example agriculture contributes largest sector ofeconomy in Pakistan, and largest source of foreign exchange earning.By studyingagricultural sciences or livestocksciences which is a subsection of agriculture by vocational training one can multiply theproduction of crop many folds. as the unemployement is the key root of manyevils, education gives awareness of humanrights. Unfortunately in Pakistan literacy rate is 58% and in Sindh it is 48% according to Economic Survey ofPakistan (2016-2017). Pakistan’s public expenditure on education aspercentage of its GDP is estimated at 2.3% in the fiscal year 2016, in 2015 itwas 2.2, making it the lowest in the region, and one of the twelvecountries who spend 2% of their GDP on education sector.In nutshellit has revealed that honour killing is not solely result of customs andtraditions but many other factors are contributing, like male dominancy, roleof law enforcing institutes, jirga system, feudalism, illiteracy, unemployement,qisas laws.
All these factors contributes violence against woman. It’s most opfthe time backed by politicians, feudal lords and police. Society needs tochange their attitude through education, media, institutes, social and family circle.
It must be encouraged in the biggestforum of Pakistan that is Parliament. Jirga system has to be banned, becausejirga system gives immunity to the murderers especially in interior sindh. It’sthe state institutions, in particular police, law enforcement agencies are responsibleto decide what punishment must be given to murderers not of chief of a tribewho doesnot gives justice to victims nor punishment tokiller.
Jirga system encourages killers in the custom of karo kari. And directlythey pressurize law enforcing agencies to deal the case with leniency, and givemany ways to give a safe way to the killers so that they can escape from statepunishment.