A Pakistani Senator Israrullah Zahri from Baluchistan province Friday, August 29, 2008 tried to justify the crime of burying women alive by Umrani tribal elders. He told the Upper House, ‘It is a Baluch tribal tradition (to bury accused women alive) and we have to respect it’ referring to the brutal incident of burying three girls and two older women a few days ago.
According to the information obtained by Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), ‘the five women Ms. Fatima, wife of Umeed Ali Umrani, Jannat Bibi, wife of Qaisar Khan, Fauzia, daughter of Ata Mohammad Umrani, and two other girls, aged between 16 to 18 years, were buried alive in a remote village, the Baba Kot, 80 kilometers away from Usta Mohammad city of Jafferabad district.’
- Sign the AHRC’s Letter of Appeals condemning the Murder of the five women
- Spread the word by email and facebook about this concerning issue
- Vehemently Condemn the Senator, for issuing such a statement, as this tradition of killing women is inhumane by any understanding and should not be supported or even justified by a government official specially in the Senate
The incident was not reported in the media ‘due to the influence of a provincial minister Mr. Sadiq Umrani and his brother Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani, from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party who are believed to be involved in the brutal murder’, but when it was eventually reported, it was said that the girls wanted to marry the men of their choice and were likely going to a civil court in Jafferabad. The two older women were supporting their decision of marrying the men of their choice.
Reports further add that the girls were at the house of Mr. Chandio at Baba Kot village when Mr. Abdul Sattar Umrani, brother of the provincial minister, came with more than six persons and abducted them with gun points. They were taken in a Land Cruiser jeep, bearing a registration number plate of the Baluchistan government, to another remote area, Nau Abadi, in the vicinity of Baba Kot. After reaching the deserted area, Abdul Sattar Umrani and his six accomplices took the three girls out of the jeep and beat them before opening fire with their guns. The girls were seriously injured but were still alive. Sattar Umrani and his accomplices hurled them into a wide ditch and covered them with earth and stones. The two older women protested and tried to stop the burial of the girls who were plainly alive, but the attackers pushed them too into the ditch and buried all alive.
On Friday, a woman Senator, Yasmeen Shah, condemned the incident in the regular meeting of the Upper House and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits, but Mr. Zahri, who belongs to the same province where the women were buried alive, told the House that it was a tradition of the respectable tribes and the media should avoid raising it.
Hundreds of cases of honour killings of women occur in the tribal, and even settled, areas of Pakistan every year. And the tragedy is that the government fails to take strong steps to curb such ill treatment of women. The matter is even more to be condemned in cases like this where law-makers and government officials themselves are found to be at the forefront of those resorting to women abuse and violation of human rights?