Recent Incidences of Target Killings of Women in Pakistan

The people of Pakistan sense that there is a significant connection between the recent targeted bomb blasts within the country and women. Most often successful career women with decision-making capabilities are targeted for elimination as they potray women’s empowerment and are thereby deemed a threat. It is an outrage when those who commit such crimes are openly admired in their communities and are subjected to only token prosecution. Educational institutions that may make women more independent are also being targeted for elimination. “The right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions.” says Hina Jilani, lawyer and human rights activist.

A bomb blast near a girls’ school in northwestern Pakistan kills four schoolgirls aged 10 to 15, including three US military personnel. Dozens of teenage girls were also caught by the blast, which occurred outside their secondary school in Lower Dir district. 65 school children were injured, most of them girls. The school had been previosly blown up in January 2009 and rebuilt with the help of a foreign aid organisation. (Dir, 2 February, 2010)

Armed, masked men killed a female schoolteacher Shahnaz Bibi, 46, in Bhutian village, triggering a protest by the local educationists, officials said. (Gujar Khan, 26 May, 2010)

A female school teacher, 46-year-old Shahnaz Bibi (o/r Qazian area), was attacked and killed near the Government Boys Primary School Bhutian situated close to Bhadana village, by some armed men, when she, along and her brother, Qazi Attique, was walking towards the school. (Bhadana, 26 May, 2010)

Three girls primary schools in Upper Tehsil were blown up by unidentified militants while the political administration arrested 26 persons redhanded. (Kalaya, 30 April, 2010)

A two-room girls school in Tehsil Ambar of Mohmand Agency was blown up by bomb blasts in the northern areas. (Mohmand, 30 April, 2010)

Two unknown bike riders shot dead teacher of the Beacon House School, Saima Batool (38) w/o Mudeer Hussain, at Ravi Block in Iqbal Town when she was going to the school with her two kids in her car. (Lahore, 28 April, 2010)

Militants blew up a girls’ school in Pakistan’s Khyber district. The pre-dawn school attack took place in Saddokhel town in northwest Khyber tribal district, where militants detonated explosives planted around the building, destroying all five school rooms but causing no injuries. Islamist militants opposed to co-education have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years as they wage a fierce insurgency to enforce Shariah law. (Peshawar, 14 December, 2009)

Two synchronised remote-controlled bombs ripped through a market popular with women in Lahore today, causing a huge fire and killing at least 34 people, authorities said. About 100 people were wounded in the attacks in Lahore, apparently timed to take place when the Moon Market was at its busiest. The bombs exploded within 30 seconds of each other, leaving dozens of cars and shops ablaze late into the night. Many of the victims were women and children, including a two-year-old. (Lahore, 7 December, 2009)

Bomb blast destroys a girls’ school in Pakistan’s Khyber district, the third such attack in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan so far this month, officials said. The incident took place at Yousaf Kely village near Bara town, around 20 kilometres (13 miles) south of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province. (Peshawar, 17 November, 2009)

A girls school in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal district was rocked by a bomb blast, destroying the building and wounding four people in neighbouring homes, officials said. Two explosions ripped through the 18-room government high school for girls at Kari Gar village. 11 rooms were demolished and a boy who watched the premises went missing.(Peshawar, 1 November, 2009)

Three girls were among six people killed in twin suicide attacks inside the International Islamic University, Islamabad. A bomber barged into the women-only facility despite fierce resistance put up by a local worker, blowing himself up at the entrance of the girls’ cafeteria. This is the first time that militants have targeted women and a prestigious Islamic educational institution. (Islamabad, 20 October, 2009)

A man tries to rescue a girl trapped in rubble after a bomb blast near a school in Pakistan.

An explosion ripped through the popular women’s market Meena bazaar in Peshawar, a warren of cosmetics stalls, jewellery stores and clothes shops frequented by women in a male-dominated city, killing at least 117. 60 of the dead were either women or children.

Lady Professor killed in a cruel incident of target killing in the restive capital of Balochistan province. Some unknown gunmen sprayed bullets on mass communications professor, Nazima Talib (48), when she was entering into a rickshaw at the main gate of Balochistan University. Her students informed that she was one of the pioneers of the Mass Communication Department of the UoB. She was also an intellectual and poetess and had participated in several mushairas in Quetta and other cities. She along with her husband and a son had been living in Quetta for last several years. (Quetta, 28 April, 2010)

40-year-old advocate Safia Jabeen died after being shot by unidentified persons at the railway station. (23 July, 2009)

Singer Ayman Udas was ‘shot by her brothers for TV sin’. A Rising musical star was allegedly shot dead by her own brothers in the conservative city of Peshawar in Pakistan last week after she had appeared on television. They believed it was sinful for a woman to perform on television and were supposedly ashamed of her growing popularity (Peshawar, 2 May, 2009)

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, after addressing a large gathering of her supporters. Bhutto died of a gunshot wound to the neck. The attacker then blew himself up. The bomb attack killed at least 22 others, doctors said. (Rawalpindi, 27 Decemberl, 2007)