PESHAWAR: Rights activists are going to celebrate the International Women’s Day today amid increase in the cases of violence against women since January 2018 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Up to 53 major incidents of violence against women including honour killings and domestic violence were reported so far in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to human rights activists.
The first case of violence occurred on January 2 when a woman committed suicide in the limits of Kotwali Police Station in Peshawar. It was reported that she committed the suicide by self-immolation as the house owner was not releasing her after a dispute between them. She was working in a house.
On January 6, a couple was killed in Toru Mayar village of Mardan district in the name of honour as they had married against the will of their families.
The girl hailing from Toru area said in her statement to the police before succumbing to her injuries at the hospital that she and Asif were talking on the roadside when her brother Jehanzeb came there and opened fire on them.
Similarly, family members killed another woman from Kohistan “for honour” in Mansehra district on January 6 after 15 years of her love marriage as they were chasing her after she eloped with a boy against their will.
On January 9, a local resident committed a suicide after killing a dancer and her father in Guldarra area in the limits of the Yakatoot (Agha Mir Jani Shah) Police Station after she refused to marry him.
The police said that one Ali Afridi of Bara stabbed one Ikram, 60, to death and injured his daughter Brekhna, 20, a local dancer in Guldarra. The accused, in his early 30s, later committed a suicide with his pistol. Brekhna was taken to the Lady Reading Hospital where she succumbed to injuries.
On January 18, brothers reportedly strangled their own sister to death in Dera Ismail Khan.
On February 29, a medical student Asma Rani was shot dead in Kohat reportedly on the pretext of refusing a marriage proposal, the police said.
The police said that when Asma reached home along with her sister-in-law, the alleged killer Mujahid Afridi and his accomplice Sajid opened fire at her and fled the crime scene thereafter.
In February, two sisters were killed in the name of honour in Peshawar. As per the police, a lawyer had tied the knot with one of the sisters secretly. Sharing details, the police said that both sisters identified as 22-year old Shazia and Noor Zia, 32, were gunned down in the jurisdiction of Pishtakhara Police Station. During investigation, Sajid revealed that Shazia was blackmailing that she would make her marriage public and would make undue demands.
Om March 5, another tragic incident of honour killing occurred in Hangu district when an uncle gunned down his three nieces including Sultana, Zainab and Najma after they reported to the police that their father is sexually abusing them and police arrested him in the case.
Talking to The News, a rights activist, Taimur Kamal said that these cases had been reported in the newspapers. He said that there were many others which were not reported.
The rights activist said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government did nothing for women of the province in its four and a half years term. On the one hand, he said, the provincial government was claiming to make a record legislation in the history of the province, but on the other, no law was passed about women’s rights.
He said two important bills such as KP Domestic Violence against Women Bill and KP Child Marriage Restraint Bill were still pending for the passage.
Taimur Kamal criticised the Provincial Commission on the Status of Women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for being inactive. He said the commission was not playing its role to curb domestic violence and violence against women. He said the commission had limited itself only to issuing statements to the press and to condemn the violence incidents.
However, he said, the issue of violence against women is increasing day by day due to lack of education and certain Pakhtun norms.
Second, he said the provincial government had failed to promulgate comprehensive policies and laws to bring an end to these problems.”Most of our women parliamentarians are working for political point-scoring, not for women’s issues,” he added.
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