It's a MURDER, not honour killing!

BY: Shahtaj Bakht

Department of Mass Communication, Karachi University

There’s no such thing as honour killing, we often come across this phrase because as a Pakistani we receive such horrifying and heart wrenching news, every now and then. Now a days, everything seems socially acceptable if it’s presented under the banner of an upright vocabulary. But, the unacceptable and harsh reality is that the phrase “honour killing” is a sugar-coated word for “MURDER”.

It’s not only a murder of an individual who’s generally a female but then again, it’s murder of her identity, her choice, her right, her oneness and is death of her desires. Over 3,000 women in Pakistan were killed under the banner of honour killing in last seven years, the criminals who mostly are the people that have blood relation with the victim justify their crime by accusing their prey of adultery, marriage by choice, bad name to the family and what not. The self-proclaimed judges take lives of the women of their families without having a second thought.

Honour killing took birth when hypocrisy prevailed in our society, where a father doesn’t question his son for having illicit relation but kills his daughter marrying a person of her own choice.

Even though the government of Pakistan took several notices of this dreadful crime and the laws which were made regarding it were reformed numerous times, up till now they remain ineffective. As most of the cases reported are from rural areas, the authoritative yet biased traditional customs existing there doesn’t allow laws to lower their supremacy in their respective ruling zones. This society is where the actual victim is punished for being raped in the form so-called “honour killing” by the controlling bigoted people.

As a society, we need to accept that a fearless, devoted, bold woman is not a threat to a family’s honour. Neither, the barbarous act which they quote as honour killing comprises any “honour”. Still, there are some places in Pakistan where a woman is forced to consider herself as a puppet who functions on the will of its master. Women belonging to such places are deprived with their rights and power. And it is now time that we take an action and clear all the baggage that prevails in the name of honour and is completely destroying this society and its generations to come.