Recent Female Victims of Domestic Violence in Pakistan

According to the report published on February 17, 2009, by the Islamabad based NGO, Aurat Foundation working for the welfare and protection of women against violence, a total of 7733 incidents of violence against women were reported in 2008. In 2009 they reported 608 cases of domestic violence: (271 in Punjab; 134 in Sindh; 163 in NWFP; 22 in Balochistan; 18 in Islamabad). Violence against women is a direct cause and effect phenomenon due to inequality, discrimination, stigmatization and conflict in private and public domain. The current statistics on violence against women is only the tip of the iceberg as an overwhelming majority of violence in the domestic domain remains unreported.

Human rights workers in Pakistan report that each year large numbers of women are beaten, tortured or burnt by their husbands or families. Some have had their bones broken or their faces mutilated. Bride burning is common, when husbands engineer an ‘accident’ (frequently the bursting of a kitchen stove) when they feel the obligatory marriage dower (gifts from in-laws) is not enough. Female infanticide is another crime perpetuated in Pakistan whereby a girl child is killed within weeks of her birth.

Police almost invariably take the man’s side in domestic murders or honour killings, and rarely prosecute the killers. Even when the men are convicted, the judiciary ensures that they usually receive a light sentence, reinforcing the view that men can kill their female relatives without fear of severe retribution. Specific laws hamper redress as they discriminate against women. The vulnerability of women is completed by the almost total absence of anywhere to hide. There are few womens shelters, and any woman attempting to travel on her own is an easy target for abuse by police, strangers or male relatives on the hunt for her. For some women suicide appears the only means of escape.

An unemployed butcher, Qasir Butt, beat his wife, Aashi, mother of a two-year-old boy, to death after she refused to get him money from her family. The Police soon arrested the culprit after doctors of the Holy Family Hospital pronounced her dead. (Rawalpindi, 22 July, 2010)

Mukhtar Ahmad, with the help of his relative, Khushi Muhammad, burnt alive his wife, Sidra, after having arguments over some domestic issues at Bharwal Village within the precincts of Sarai Mughal Police Station. (Kasur, 22 July, 2010)

Allah Bakhsh, stabbed his daughter, Shakorwan Bibi (17), to death for visiting Dera Ghazi Khan Hospital alone for her medical check-up as he found it against the family values. People at the hospital handed the culprit to Civil Lines Police. (Dera Ghazi Khan, 20 July, 2010)

Double injustice – abuse at home and no protection from the government.

Mumtaz Mai, 38, was burned by acid attack on June 18, 2007 in Basti Dollay Wali village, after bearing a daughter as her eighth child, Punjab, Pakistan.

A police official, Irfan, tortured his wife, Shamshad Akhtar, to death after she gave birth to second daughter. (Raiwind, 18 July, 2010)

The Harbanspura Police recovered a burnt dead body, of a woman from Lahore Link Canal near Nawabpura but failed to determine her identity due to its poor condition. (Lahore, 15 July, 2010)

30 year old Abida Kharos who was married off to settle a karo-kari dispute was tortured by brothers-in-law Altaf and Aijaz and father-in-law Arbab Kharos. They had beaten her with rods and had also shaved part of her hair in Darya Khan Unnar village near Ratodero. The reason behind the violence was that about 15 years ago her uncle had been accused of having illicit relations with a woman of the family of Arbab Kharos. After a jirga elders had decided to settle the dispute by giving two girls of their family in marriage to the family of Arbab. (Larkana, 5 July, 2010)

Chairperson of Progressive Women Association Shahnaz Bukhari claimed that a couple (Malik Tariq Sarwari r/o Panag and his wife Nasreen Tariq r/o Lahore), who had entered into a love marriage, were tortured by their relatives who wanted their separation. (Rawalpindi, 17 June, 2010)

Yusuf Masseh, who was halted by police from Armored Colony No 2 Hakimabad, conceded to having hanged his wife, Musrat Shaheen, for honour and said his wife had ran off with Muslim Afzal alias Fazal (30). (Nowshera, 15 June, 2010)

In a tragic incident, a teenage girl, Saadia, 18, was strangled to death by her brothers who were reportedly suspicious of the girl’s “character”. (Karachi, 14 June, 2010)

A woman, identified as 29-year-old Rabia Bibi, was slaughtered, allegedly by her husband over some domestic issue in her house at Sharifabad. (Ferozebad, 14 June, 2010)

Violence against women in Pakistan has risen to staggering levels.

Sabira Manzoor, 31, and Iram Saeed, 30yrs, both burn victims and survivors, at Iram’s mother’s house in Rawalpindi. (Pakistan, February 12, 2009)

The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill was passed unanimously by the National Assembly on August 4, 2009, but the bill lapsed after the Senate failed to pass it within the three months required under the country’s constitution.

An airhostess, Nasreen Tabassum, was shot dead by her husband, Raziuddin Khan r/o Kartarpura, as she demanded her share in the property after she asked for divorce. (Rawalpindi, 9 June, 2010)

Sanaullah shot dead his sister, Khalida, when she was asleep within the precincts of Sattukatla Police Station in Lahore because she continued to work as a maid in houses. (Lahore, 23 May, 2010)

At Dargahi Gul Nadeem Town in Kala Shah Kaku, a labourer (Mehboob), with the assistance of his father and brother, strangled his wife to death as she had been opposing the man he had chosen for his daughter’s marriage. (Ferozewala, 12 May, 2010)

According to the Daily Kawish, an 18 years old girl, identified as Shazia daughter of Hidayat ullah Khero, was shot dead when she was inside her sealed house situated in village Aqil in the limits of Aqil Pir Ait Sher Police Station. (Larkana, 30 April, 2010)

Ali Raza shot dead his 20-year-old wife Kulsoom in Sabazazar police precincts because she had filed for divorce. (30 November, 2009)

Irshad murdered Shamim after her parents refused to marry her to the accused, in Shafiqabad police precincts. (12 November, 2009)

Three men and two women allegedly shot dead 60-year-old Jannat Bibi and later cut her jugular vein over a domestic dispute in Baba Fareed Colony, Kot Lakhpat police precincts. (19 October, 2009)

Sagheer, along with his brothers, killed his wife Shazia over a family dispute. (24 September, 2009)

Nadeem shot dead his wife and three-year-old daughter, and then committed suicide in Bhatti Police precincts. The reason behind the murders is still unknown. (17 September, 2009)

Javed Masih, a resident of Shahdara killed his wife Aasia by mutilating her with a pair of scissors. (20 August, 2009)

Ashiq, a former army jawan, shot dead his wife Haneefa Bibi over domestic issues in Millat Park police precincts. (18 August, 2009)

Umar of Sabzazar killed his wife by beating her with a hockey stick for objecting to his second marriage. (16 August, 2009)

Irshad killed his wife Sobia Butt, and then unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in Iqbal Town police precincts. (13 August, 2009)

Unidentified men axed to death Sughra Bibi, a labourer at a brick kiln in Raiwind for unknown reasons. (29 July, 2009)

21-year-old Asma was burned by her in-laws, who then threw her on a road in Johar Town. Edhi officials shifted her to the hospital in critical condition where she passed away. (23 July, 2009)

Meer Ali burned to death his 21-year-old wife Kiran Shehzadi, for allegedly refusing to give him the Rs 50,000 she had taken from her parents. (23 June, 2009)

Ahsan Elahi of Model Town shot dead his wife Shazi. (26 May, 2009)

Arshad, a resident of Johar Town, allegedly poisoned his wife Razia Bibi over a family dispute. (8 May, 2009)

Umar killed his 35 year old wife Aasia Bibi, enraged over the fact that she had given birth to a daughter, in Liaqatabad police precincts. (20 April, 2009)

Nadeem Abbas, along with two accomplices mutilated 23-year-old Fauzia by cutting off her hands and legs when the victim’s family refused to marry her to the accused. (10 April, 2009)