Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
National Dialogue Against Honor Killings in Balochistan , Quetta


National Dialogue Against Honor Killings in Balochistan

Malik Abdul Wali Kakar, speaking on the occasion, said that killing of women in the name of honor wherever it takes place in Pakistan was a grave injustice and contrary to the teachings of Islam. He pointed out that the advent of Islam had ended the practice of femicide in the Middle East fourteen centuries back and even today the “real teachings” can serve as a deterrent against honor killings. 

There is a rise in the number of honor killings throughout the country due to the weak decisions of the court,” Kakar lamented. He further regretted that lawyers too could not take play a positive role because of the court’s weak decisions. He emphasized that legislation was needed immediately to end the dreaded practice of honor killing in the province. 

The National Dialogue  was organized by the Aurat Foundation and Today’s Women Organization in collaboration with the Quetta Press Club, Balochistan Women Business Association, and Balochistan Commission on the Status of Women. The Governor of Balochistan, Malik Abdul Wali was Chief Guest at the National Dialogue Against Honor Killings held at the Boy Scouts Hostel in Quetta, capital of Balochistan. 

Prominent women who took part in the national dialogue were Ms Raheela Durrani, Former Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, Dr.  Shama Ishaq, Former Member of the Provincial Assembly, Ms. Fauzia Shaheen, Chairperson Balochistan Commission on the Status of Women, Member Prof Farkhanda Aurangzeb Pakistan National Commission of Human Rights, Ms. Sana Durrani. Chairperson, Balochistan Women Business Association (she also coordinates Ending Violence Against Women and Girls), Union of Journalists president Irfan Saeed, Religious Scholar Mufti, senior journalist Manzoor Ahmed Rind and senior lawyer and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Abdullah Khan Kakar, Dr Ayesha Dharejo, Chairperson, Sindh Suhai Organization, Parveen Naz; Chairperson, Raaji Baloch Women Forum and almost 150 participants from Civil Society, Government Officials, Academia, Media participated in the event.

Allaudin Khilji, Resident Director Aurat Foundation, said that the national dialogue in Quetta turned into a brain storming session on how religious, tribal, political and civil society actors can act in tandem in Balochistan to combat and end honor killings once and for all. A woman is killed in the name of honor or becomes a victim of violence and loses her life every second day in Balochistan. He said that according to media reports Naseerabad district ranked first in Balochistan for honor killings while Quetta stood second throughout the province for violence against women.

The participants of the dialogue presented a charter of demand and called for immediate actionable legislation for implementation of the demands in the charter.

The participants heard killing of women take place in the name of honor throughout Pakistan after a woman is accused of having an affair or the so-called black deed— in Balochistan it is called Siah Kari, in Sindh Karo Kari, in Khyber Pashtunkhwa and Pashtun belt of Balochistan Tor Tor and in Punjab it is called Kaala Kaali. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, as many as 15,222 people were killed in the name of honor between 2004 to 2016. Scores of the victims were minor girls. Women have not even been considered as humans in Pakistan for the last 75 years and this might continue unless social attitudes towards women are changed, National Dialogue Against Honor Killings in Balochistan.

The speakers agreed that during the last 75 years since independence from the British womenfolk in Pakistan were not even considered as humans and said the best way for women’s emancipation is education. Balochistan has one of the lowest female literacy and girls schools enrollment rates in the world and one of the highest numbers of child marriages and maternal deaths throughout the world.

Prominent writer and intellectual Behram Baloch, who is son of now deceased Chief Secretary Hakeem Baloch, Sindh Urologist Dr Ali Akbar Naich and ACE reporter on women rights Hazar Khan Baloch were also present. Some participants also mentioned the honor killing of Zaratoon Faqir Muhammad Durra Khan (an aunt of this writer) by her brother more than 80 years ago in Sindh interior.