Act of Burying Women Alive
03 September, 2008
In the midst of massive political, economic and social crisis faced by the country, the shocking news of the barbaric incident of burying five women alive in the name of tribal honour in the district Nasirabad, Balochistan, and the subsequent defence of the brutal act as the Baloch tradition in the Senate by Israrullah Zehri and Jan Mohammad Jamali, has made many think that with such a misogynist and criminal mindset of our public representatives, what hope do we have to survive as a nation and pull ourselves out of multiple crises. The response of the senators from Balochistan is a repeat of the response of Ajmal Khattak of the ANP and some other members of the senate who defended the "honour killing" of Samia Imran by her family in 1991 as the Pukhtun tradition.
The way provincial government tried to cover up the incident and manipulated the local administration and the law enforcement agencies because of the alleged involvement of Abdus Sattar Umrani, a brother of Sadiq Umrani, provincial minister of housing shows that there is no hope for justice for the poor and women as long as tribal, feudal and monied classes continue to dominate the social and political structures of our country. Due to the involvement of tribal influential in the gory incident, no FIR was registered. It was only after one and a half month that the Balochistan High Court took a suo moto action and ordered the registration of a FIR.
However, the Quetta High Court has already disposed of the case as DPOs and the local administration denied that any such incidents took place in the area. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) investigated the case and brought irrefutable evidence to the public attention to prove that this human tragedy did in fact take place. They have already sent the case with all the supporting evidence to the United Nations Court of Human Rights. Our Senate finally passed a resolution to condemn the incident and has set up an inquiry committee to investigate the case. However, no one from the civil society or human rights organisations is invited to be on this committee.
The public uproar regarding the incident and the statements made by the two Baloch Senators, is highly justified. However it is important for us to understand why the male elite in tribal, feudal and sardari cultures is so obsessed with controlling women`s lives and their sexuality. This will help to come up with a more informed and comprehensive response to such incidents.
As we know, by means of "Culture" a society is developed and make it different from other societies, by this angle, should we condemn it or not?
In this modern era, such criminal acts have cultural value or not?
Was it a "Cultural" or "Moral" act?