Honour killing cases register dramatic increase in Balochistan

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Quetta, Dec. 30 (ANI): A non-governmental organisation, working for women's rights, has claimed that violence against women has intensified drastically in Balochistan in 2008.

Aurat, a Pakistan based NGO, said that 115 out of 600 cases registered for violence against women in Balochistan were of 'honour killing'. The Baloch society still justifies the killing of women in the name of honour and tradition, the Daily Times reported.

The NGO blamed widespread illiteracy, entrenched tribal traditions, distorted interpretation of Islam and economic dependence of women on men to be the main causes for the violence against Baloch women.

Out of total 600 reported cases in 2008, 255 were related to domestic violence. In tribal areas, majority of cases against women remain unreported due to dominance of men in society, who consider that reporting violence against women would bring disrepute to their tribes.

The most disturbing case this year came from Naseerabad district in Balochistan, where five women were allegedly buried alive by tribal elders in the name of honour, the report said.

The Pakistan Government not only failed to investigate the incident, but Federal Minister, Mir Israrullah Zehri and Deputy Speaker, Jan Muhammad Jamli, shockingly, defended the incident on the Senate floor by calling it "a part of Baloch traditions".

Dostain Khan Jamaldini, a researcher in women's issues, said that a major hurdle in preventing the violence against women was the lack of a serious approach towards addressing it at the community level.

The NGOs and media reporting on the issue face political and communal confrontation. Often, they are accused of spreading western propaganda against Islam while reporting cases of violence against women.

"We need to set our house in order before becoming defensive. The poor state of women's rights is a bitter reality in our society and we cannot ignore this serious matter for long under different subterfuges," Jamaldini said. (ANI)

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