Lahore, 17 May. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemned the cold-blooded murder of two teenage girls in a Waziristan village—allegedly an ‘honour’ crime carried out by a family member after a mobile video of the victims surfaced on social media.
In a statement, the commission said that despite the passage of the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the Name or Pretext of Honour) Act 2016, there was little evidence to suggest that the incidence and acceptance of ‘honour’ crimes has abated.
Antiquated—and lethal—notions that ‘honour’ resides in women’s bodies and actions still prevail across Pakistan, and it will take far more than laws to effect a change when perpetrators of ‘honour’ crimes continue to act with impunity. The patriarchy that upholds casual sexism is the same patriarchy that is used to justify, endorse and perpetrate ‘honour’ killings. Neither is acceptable.
HRCP also noted with great concern that many people who have spoken up against the Waziristan murders on social media platforms have been threatened or ridiculed. The state must make it clear to all that it will not tolerate any support for this heinous practice.
The local administration must take all possible steps to ensure the security of the third girl and the man in the video, and to bring the perpetrator to justice. The state must also demonstrate its commitment to protecting human rights in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas by taking concrete steps to ensure that human security is put before considerations of ‘national’ security.