Honor Killing of Women in Sindh and Southern Punjab

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4520

Sindh accounted for a disproportionately high number of 266 (Table 2), almost 38%, honor killings in 2011. In Sindh, Karo Kari is accepted and practiced as a time honored tradition by the feudal landowners, local tribe leaders, village molvi and the community. Local Jirgas, although banned by the Sindh High Court in 2004, continue with impunity and play a major role in perpetuating honor killing.

Table 2: Province wise breakdown of honor killing cases in Pakistan in 2011

Province No. of reported honor killing cases Percentage (%age)
Punjab 322 45.67
Sindh 266 37.73
KP 30 4.25
Balochistan 86 12.19
ICT 01 0.14

                Source: Annual Report of Aurat Foundation: Jan-Dec, 2011

District-wise break up of reported cases of honor killing last year is shown in Table 3 below;

Table 3: Top 10 Districts of honor killing cases during years 2008-11

S. No. 2008 2009 2010 2011
District No of cases District No of cases District No of cases District No of cases
1. Ghotki 36 Jacobabad 36 Jacobabad 42 Naseerabad 39
2. Naseerabad 34 Sukkur 32 Ghotki 37 Faisalabad 36
3. Lahore 34 Larkana 31 Larkana 33 Jacobabad 34
4. Larkana 32 Faisalabad 26 Faisalabad 22 Kashmore 31
5. Jacobabad 32 Ghotki 24 Kashmore 21 Khairpur Mirs 23
6. Khairpur Mirs 31 Lahore 23 Lahore 19 Larkana 22
7. Sukkur 26 Mirpur Khas 22 Khairpur Mirs 19 Sahiwal 22
8. Nausheroferoz 24 Karachi 21 Sargodha 18 Khanewal 21
9. Faisalabad 23 Nausheroferoze 20 Sahiwal 17 Sukkur 21
10. Karachi 22 Jhang 17 Shikarpur 17 Ghotki 21

Source: Annual Report of Aurat Foundation: Jan-Dec, 2011 

  1. The Existing Legislation

Pakistan’s justice system is a hybrid of British legacy of Common Law and religious model, which essentially means the simultaneous existence of secular courts and Sharia court. Another complicating factor is the existence of ‘tribal council arbitration’ such as Jirga and Panchayat which, although not part of the formal legal system, are the centerpiece of justice dispensation mechanism in rural and tribal settings[7].

Pakistan is bound by its international commitments to various treaties and conventions on preventing violence against women. These international commitments are also translated in domestic legislation to address the issues of violence against women in Pakistan in general and honor killing in particular. An overview of the existing legal and policy structure is given below; 

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