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Friday, December 30, 2005
Pakistan shocked but similar 'honor killings' are commom.

MULTAN, Pakistan -- Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25 year old stepsister to salvage his family's "honor" -- a crime that shocked Pakistan.

The 40 year old laborer, speaking in police detention as he was being shifted to prison, confessed to just one regret -- that he did'nt murder the stepsister's alleged lover, too.

Hundreds of girls and women are murdered by male relatives each year in this conservative Islamic nation, and rights group said Wednesday such "honor killings" will only stop when authorities get serious about punishing perpetrators.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that in more than half of such cases that make it to court, most end with cash setllements paid by relatives to the victims families, although under a law passed last year, the minimum penalty is 10 years, the maximum death by hanging.

Ahmed's killing spree -- witnessed by his wife, Rehmat Bibi, as she cradeld their 3 month old baby son -- happened Friday night at their home in eastern Punjab province.

260 such killings this year.
It is the latest of more than 260 such honor killings documented by the rights commission during the first 11 months of 2005.

Bibi recounted how she was awakened by a shriek as Ahmed put his hand on the mouth of his step daughter Muqadas and cut her throat with a machete. Bibi looked helplessly on from the corner of the room as he then killed the three girls -- Bano, 8; Sumaira, 7; and Humaira, 4 -- pausing between the slayings to brnadish the bloody knife at his wife, warning her not to intervene or raise alarm.

"I was shivering with fear, I did not know how to save my daughters", Bibi, sobbing, said by phone from the village. "I begged my husband to spare my daughters but he said, " If you make a noise, I will kill you".

The next morning, Ahmed was arrested.

Speaking in the back of a police pickup truck late Tuesday as he was shifted to a prison in the city of Multan, Ahmed showed no contrition. Appearing disheveled but composed, he said he killed Muqadas because she had committed adultery, and his daguthers because he did'nt want them to do the same when they grew up.

"I thought the younger girls would do what their eldest sister had done, so they should be eliminated", he said, his hands cuffed his face unshaven. "We are poor people, and we have nothing else to protect but our honor".

Women 'treated as property'.
Despite Ahmed's contention that Muqadas has committed adultery -- a claim made by her husband -- the rights commission reported that according to local people, Musqadas had fled her husband because he had abused her and forced he to work in a brick making factory.

Police have said they donot know the identiry or whereabouts of Muqadas alleged lover.

Muqadas was Bibi's daughter by first marriage to Ahmed's brother, who dies 14 years ago. Ahmed married his brother's widow, as is customary under Islamic tradition.

"Women are treated as property and those committing crimes against them donot get punished". said the rights commission's director, Kamla Hyat. "the steps taken by our government have made no real difference."

(Source: Associated Press/ Khalid Tanveer)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:11 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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