Decade after being scarred by acid, Fakhra Yunus jumps to her death

Published: March 25, 2012

Fakhra Younus commits suicide on March 17 by jumping off her sixth floor residence in Rome, Italy.

ROME: The long standing and once highly publicised case of acid victim Fakhra Younus met its tragic end on March 17 when she jumped to her death in the Italian city of Rome. Her body is due to reach Karachi on Sunday, Express News reported.

Yunus, wife former Member of Provincial Assembly Bilal Khar, had been undergoing treatment for acid scarred tissue, including multiple corrective surgeries in Rome.

At the time, it had been reported that Khar, son of former Punjab governor and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Ghulam Mustafa Khar, had attacked Yunus with acid in 2000 after she had left him. The two had shared a troubled marriage dotted with domestic violence.

On March 17, she leapt off from the sixth floor of a building. Her body was expected to arrive in Karachi via air on March 25.

Bilal Khar should be severely punished: Altaf Hussain

Meanwhile Muttahida Qaumi Movement(MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has demanded for Yunus’ assailant, Khar, to be brought to book and be severely punished according to the law.

In a statement, issued shortly after news of her death was aired, Hussain said that Khar was responsible for her death since his act had emotionally scarred her, leading to her eventual suicide.

Hussain added that MQM would support Yunus’ family in getting justice.

The case

In 1998, Yunus was an 18 year old resident of Napier Road’s Bulbul Bazar, Karachi’s red light district, when she met the then Muzaffargarh MPA Bilal Khar.

They both got married after a six month relationship. This was Bilal’s third marriage, while Yunus had a three year old son from an earlier liaison.

Little did Yunus know, that this was not meant to be her fairytale marriage, since shortly after the marriage, she faced both physical and mental abuse by Khar, which lasted for three years before she eventually escaped and moved in with her mother.

An infuriated Khar allegedly took ‘revenge’ by pouring acid over her on May 14, 2000, as her five year old son watched. The attack left her severely burned, particularly her face. She, however, survived the attack but not before spending three months in intensive care.

Khar used his political influence to evade arrest and absconded, while Yunus’s family faced difficulty in registering an FIR against him.

On October 31, 2002, Khar was eventually arrested, but released in 2003 on Rs 200,000 bail.

In Yunus’ time of despair, social activist Tehmina Durrani came to the forefront to assist her. Durrani, ironically, was once married to Ghulam Mustafa Khar.

After the then government showed reluctance in helping Yunus, Durrani convinced the Italian government to help her, by not only providing asylum but also sponsoring her treatment there. Khar, leveraging his influence, had vehemently tried to stop her exit from Pakistan, but failed.

After over a decade of undergoing treatment in Italy, an emotionally scarred Fakhra, lost hope and committed suicide by jumping out of her sixth floor residence.

Khar currently resides in his ancestral home in Kot Addu.

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Reader Comments (71)

  • Thinker
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:44AM

    “Khar currently resides in his ancestral home in Kot Addu.” Where is justice? Why this guy hasn’t been arrested for the acid attack? Where is the trial?

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  • haroon khan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:48AM

    This sick misogynistic attitude of our men has ruined millions of lives already. fakhra’s life was ruined by a man because she dared go back to her mother rather than live with a husband who tortured her physically and mentally.this caveman mentality of owning women,that my wife,my sister are my personal property and i will do with them as i please is at the root of the mistreatment of women in our society.
    Women are equal to men,stop treating them like your private property.

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  • Ammar Khan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:50AM

    It’s sad and infuriating that sick people like Khar are still roaming in our streets.
    @ET review your moderation policy please.. for such exceptional cases where people like Khar deserve nothing but abuses.
    RIP Fakhra Younis.

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  • aftab nazir
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:51AM

    As it is our public is very dismissive of women’s rigths and does not want to treat them as equal human beings.on top of that religious leaders in their sermons and preaching tell boys that women are your personal belonging,don’t allow them to leave home without taking your permission,that you are allowed to beat up your wives,that you have been made superior to women.Coming from religious figures gives these teachings greater legitimacy and leads to a society full of misogynistic men.

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  • Talha
    Mar 25, 2012 - 12:54AM

    How sad, but not uncommon in this horrid nation.

    This Bilal Khar should be punished for his crimes and if his family intervenes, they should be punished too.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:00AM

    The government should put a complete ban on buying acid in the entire country from open market by any person or company without prior written permission of Provincial Inspector General of Police.

    If the acid will not be commonly available in the market, it will reduce the incidents of acid throwing.

    In this particular case, The Chief Justice of Pakistan is requested to take a suo moto notice and ask the lower court to cancel the bail of the accused and put him behind the bars for trail of throwing acid on the face of his late wife.

    May Al-Mighty Allah rest her soul in peace.

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  • pervez rauf
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:09AM

    The number one priority of the men in our society is to control women,be it controlling their sisters or controlling their wives.they feel that women are some inferior beings who can’t think or make decisions for themselves and so the man has to make all the decisions for them.
    This psychology of dominating and controlling women has led to untold miseries in our history.
    those men who treat their wives,sisters,cousins as personal property are hailed by our society(including a lot of women) as real men.
    Any man who treats women as equal beings is ridiculed and humiliated as being a weak man.
    Women themselves contribute to this sickness by making fun of their brothers or cousins who treat their wives as equal human beings.
    It’s time women who encourage violence and aggression are condemned along with the men who perpetrate it.

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  • Pakistani
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:09AM

    This is really sad. SC please take sou moto notice as the government is not going to do anything.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 1:11AM

    obviously it had to be a PPPP minister. ..Recommend

  • Mordechai
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Citadel of Islam or as it always was Citadel of Feudal’s since 65 years and counting

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  • true_blue_pakistani
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:43AM

    Bilal waiting for his 4th marriage???

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  • khan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:47AM

    he should be triedRecommend

  • Tanvir
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Bilal Khar is an honourable and truly patriotic member of provincial assembly. It is the american agents like Sharmeen Obaid Chinnoy who should be punished because she disgraced the nation for raising an issue that does not exist in our society, at the first place

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  • umer
    Mar 25, 2012 - 1:59AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    how can you stop the sale of acid? are you going to stop the sale of car batteries for instance?

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  • Mawali
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:06AM

    Islamic justice calls for eye for an eye. Acid scarred face for causing an acid scar face. Someone ought to take up the responsibility step up to the plate. People have to take matters into their hands to exact justice from this animal. People have to lead for the leaders to follow!

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:08AM

    @Ovais:
    Dont make it about PPP please. Even us PPP supporters are aghast at inhumane violence. I wish nothing more then justice for Ms Yunus and sincerely hope Bilal Khar is tried for murder however do note that it is this government that bought about the acid throwing bill. Lets not point fingers in the wrong directions. Lets just hope that justice is served and Allah grants Yunus and give strength to her son who had to witness something nobody ever should.

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  • Mandeep Vaid
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:31AM

    In the Hindu mythology, Ravana kidnapped Sita the wife of Lord Rama to his Kingdom Sri Lanka.

    The name of Ravana´s one brother was “Khar” and they were demons!

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  • Farhan Kermani
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:34AM

    He face should be submerged in acid. he shuld live with the burnt face.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 2:46AM

    @Ovais:

    “obviously it had to be a PPPP minister.”
    Foreign minister Khar’s uncle is Mustafa Khar. FM is not responsible for the crimes of her cousin.

    In the book My Feudal Lord, Tehmina Daultana (ex- Mrs Khar), describes that Mustafa Khar used to shag her younger sister. Never heard of any reaction from Islam ke rakhwaley

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  • elementary
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:56AM

    Ask any maulvi and they will say” we should just hush up and not make fuss about it.becuase highlighting such incidents brings bad name to country and islam”.

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  • jibran
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:01AM

    Khadim-e-Salad will never arrest him given Mr. Sharif’s confections with his father.

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  • hussain ifzal
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:41AM

    Where are the Honourable Judges of the S.C?probably busy trying to dig out cases like slapping of election presiding officer after all according to the C.J. slapping is a more serious offence than murder.Why don’t they now take Sou Motu notice and get Khar arrested.I assure them this would give them a lot of political mileage.

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  • usmanx
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:08AM

    what kind of a coward hits a woman let alone pour acid on her face. disgusting.

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  • shariq
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:16AM

    Hello Please contact Ms Chinoy the Oscar Winner to make new documentary on Khar’s family too – thanks

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  • basharat
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:28AM

    The crime of burning by acid is more painful and heinous than a murder, the court instead of releasing the accused on bail, should have preferred to expedite the trial and punish the accused. Apparently, favourable attitude of the courts towards the accused belonging to influential families has caused commission of these crimes too frequent. Some comment writers have requested the CJ to take suo moto notice, perhaps they do not know that Malik Ghulam Mustafa Khar is no more in the PPP.

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  • Robina Niaz
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:05AM

    Where is the outrage? Utterly shameful! What is the judiciary doing in Pakistan and why are influential politicians getting away with it? Isn’t Khar’s daughter the “emancipated” Foreign Minister of Pakistan…violence against women is a crime against humanity and societies that allow it to happen do not prosper. I have the greatest respect for women in Pakistan who are fighting against domestic violence and glad that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary that won her the Oscar is highlights this issue and violence against women.

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  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:12AM

    Hail Altaf Hussain for taking a bold stance. Rest of our quisling political class comprises violators of everything decent in life; e.g., the constitution, the rights of women, the rights of minorities, the rights of free speech and assembly, the rights of a fair trial, the rights of freedom from arrest without charge, the rights of a decent education. All these rights have been trampled upon by politicians and the establishment, such that people live in fear for their lives. Welcome to the Land of the Pure or should it be the Impure????.

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  • Babloo
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:23AM

    Compare that to how son of a serving top Indian general went to prison for rash driving leading to death of pedestrians. The acid attack was premeditated.

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  • nationalist baloch
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:47AM

    … this guy should be severely punished for murder…Recommend

  • uroosa shah
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:03AM

    This very Sad news… he should be brought to justice.

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  • xohaib hassan
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:08AM

    i am sure this guy will not live in peace.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 7:48AM

    Bilal Khar will never be punished. Reasons: 1) commands political influence through his father
    2) Financial muscle 3) indirect/implied support of religious parties and people who think that the wife who disobeys her husband’s will ( irrespective of mental/physical abuse) deserves to be punished and Bilal Khar has rightly punished her wife. 4) Loopholes in law to escape which will be made available to him due to his financial/political clout.
    PUBLIC WILL ALSO FORGET THIS INCIDENT VERY SHORTLY

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  • Umer
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:50AM

    Nothing will happen. Khar family is another MFF (military friendly family) who no one can touch.

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  • Bill Ashai
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:21AM

    Pakistan say Zinda Bagh.

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Pakistani society can and will digest any crime…from acid throwing to Memogate to Swiss accounts. We have strong criminal enzymes and lopsided genetic material.

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  • R
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:36AM

    Khar was acquitted in 2004 because all the witnesses retracted their statements – under the law he stands innocent -

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  • Babloo
    Mar 25, 2012 - 8:37AM

    In USA, a teenage boy had posted a video of room mate in a compromised position with a man. The room mate committed suicide and the boy, who is of Indian origin, has been charged with murder/hate crime for posting the video which may have caused his room mate to commit suicide. So who is responsible for Fakhra’s suicide ?

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  • Mohsin
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:08AM

    And you call this an Islamic state. Is this what Pakistan was made for.

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  • M. A. Changezi
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:10AM

    Chief Justice bhai, kahan ho aap? Nazr e karam please. Pakistanis need you on this case.

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  • Ilyad
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:14AM

    Honourable CJ – any chance of a suo moto?

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  • SAK
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:18AM

    He is the son of our “democratic” leader. We all know democracy is the best revenge.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 9:30AM

    SC must take notice of this, May Allah grant her Jannah

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 9:30AM

    He was arrested in 2002 and was put in jail for almost a year. Now, she kills herself; why should we blame him for her murder after all these ten years? And who’s so sure that she committed suicide tempted by her ‘scarred emotions’ after the acid incident which was about 12 years ago.

    Altaf Bhai should stop manipulating the situation. Recommend

  • question
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:39AM

    quaid e azam is this the reason why u created pakistan. Giving royalties and power to illiterate feudalist and politician. I think we were better as an Indian nation. Everyone is trying to loot and destroy this country so why was it created when we cannot praise it.

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  • MUSLIM PAKISTANI
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:58AM

    This has NOTHING to do with Islam or mullahs or whatever, this is just another example of immoral irreligious secular cowards PPP ministers are known liberals thieving their way into the government, may their ‘democracy’ be laid to rest alongside these criminal MPs

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  • Yasin
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Sahir ludianvi once said (may rightly said for these people) Meray ehbab ne tehzeeb na sekhi hogi Mai jahan hun wahan insan na bastay hongay.

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:17AM

    It was Ms. Tehmina Durrani’s moral courage, heightened sense of fairness and support for the voiceless which had made possible Ms. Fakhra Yunus’ treatment in Rome. Ms. Durrani walked the talk and is thus a great role model, worthy of emulation.

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  • IndianKid
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:25AM

    This non-sense of multiple marriages has been going on among Muslims in India and Pakistan although it has been banned in countries like Turkey. These marriages promote objectification of women treating them like cattles, to be killed, abused and raped. This must be banned.

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  • Izhar Minhas (USA)
    Mar 25, 2012 - 10:37AM

    No one can blame Pakistan for such a terrible act. This is a small group of criminals who keep bringing shame to our nation. Law MUST treat every one with one stick and this guy must not go unpunished. He should be hung in public to make an example for others.

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  • Mar 25, 2012 - 1:41PM

    @Afghan Karachite:

    “He was arrested in 2002 and was put in jail for almost a year”
    According to the Newsline story, referred to above by Bilal, Feudal Lord Jr, spent time in jail for 4 months.

    4 does not equal 200.

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  • Najm
    Mar 25, 2012 - 2:33PM

    hang him tell death….

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  • Ali S
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:12PM

    If the Islamic code of justice – “an eye for an eye” – is to be followed, this animal Khar who is free today should also be scarred beyond recognition with acid burns and paraded in public to set an example. Here is a case where this type of justice proves itself very useful. May she rest in peace.

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  • Fundyar
    Mar 25, 2012 - 3:22PM

    Try him again
    It’s no secret he did it

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  • Siddiqui
    Mar 25, 2012 - 4:57PM

    A man like Bilal should be left quadriplegic and left to rot in streets of Multan

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  • naeem
    Mar 25, 2012 - 6:26PM

    strange that Sharmeen Obaid chose to accept an award from one of the cousins of Bilal Khar (Hina Rabbani Khar). Now please don’t tell me she’s different from her cousins because not once have I read anywhere that Hina condemned this gory crime let alone use her influence to bring the criminal to justice because it has been a decade now that Hina is in the corridors of power

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  • Trutfull Lies
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:15PM

    Khars are known as people with “iron rods in their neck” (“Gardan main sarriyyaa”) in district Muzaffargarh….. For many years Mustafa Khar (PPP) competed against his real brother Noor Rabbani khar (PML) for seat of N.A 177…. Both ran a very furious election campaign against each other and the poor people of Muzaffargarh considered them really “unfortunate” to have bad relations….Now Hina Rabbani Khar of PPP (Daughter of Rabbani Khar ,Niece of Mustafa Khar and cousin of Bilal Khar) has that constituency and also the office of foreign minister.Interestingly her rival in last election was not someone other than her real Brother Abdul Khaliq Khar (PML-N)….What so ever happens, political power returns to home of one brother and other,…..Why the people still believe that any form of justice can ever be served??????????????

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  • Ayesha Pervez
    Mar 25, 2012 - 7:56PM

    As soon as I read this story shared by someone on facebook…. I started crying…. I can imagine the torment that woman must have gone through all these years living with such a severly disfigured face,,,,,,, at last she committed suicide… one cannot live a day in such circumstances, she lived for 10 years…. I hope ALLAH forgives her and gives her peace and a place in jannah Recommend

  • Aamir
    Mar 25, 2012 - 9:24PM

    What did the so called upright judiciary do in this case ….they are freeing the terrorists just like they are not taking notice of acid victims. Still now in lower courts and also even in high courts , the judiciary is still sticking to old conventional methods; and evidences based on new technology are not considered acceptable in such courts. Lets face it , our judiciary is also having corrupt elements similar to any other deparment of governemtn. The SC has to make sure the availability of justice to the common man besides persuing its vendetta against the governement.

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  • Ali
    Mar 25, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Suicide is murder! What this woman has done cannot be condoned any more than what was done to her.

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  • maha
    Mar 26, 2012 - 2:26AM

    i am forced to say this to those people who think that “these crimes dont exist in our society” you people are blinded, and your hearts darkened. if you think such a man can be respectable, then im sure you are no different then him. this is a shameful and cowardly act, it has brought disgrace to islam and pakistan. this cruel treatment of women is exactly like it used to be before Islam…and you call your self muslims? what kind of muslim would do such thing?

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  • adsmaks
    Mar 26, 2012 - 5:31AM

    @Tanvir: Really? That’s what you think? its because of people like you that our women don’t get there rights. Every domestic issue is NOT because of America! If Yunus was your sister, would it be the same in that case?

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  • N.haque
    Mar 26, 2012 - 6:04AM

    @Tanvir: how can u deny the fact that this type of crime doesn’t exit in our society?? and if u r not aware of it den better keep some info about your country before commenting on anything. every one knew about this issue even before the documentary made by sharmeen obaid chinoy. yes it is very disgraceful for our nation that such issues exit in our society and it is even more disgraceful that it is being done by an educated and popular person.

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  • Mar 26, 2012 - 8:31PM

    @aftab nazir:

    This particular kind of usually gender based criminal act is committed by an individual against another preplanned and temporarily driven insane out of rage due to reason of jealousy or feeling of rejection etc.It can in no manner be fair to construe that they take place in Pakistan as a standalone country’s and stigmatize it.Similarly in light of the aforesaid explanation pertaining to the situation and state of mind in which such kind of a criminal act takes place,it becomes apparent that the incidences have no relation nor bearing at all whatsoever with issue of empowerment,emancipation or even cultural traditional and religious aspect…

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  • Mar 26, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Twinkle, twinkle little star how, I wonder what you are?

    I remember reciting this nursery rhyme as a kid at school. Today, my astonishment lies with little and big ‘stars’ being stud in my country by fairly large number of mushroomed foreign funded NGOs . One of my bewilderment which makes me ponder repeatedly is most popular slogan of today i.e. women’s emancipation and empowerment. These NGOs have sprung up in our country since over a decade, driving an agenda to liberate our women. I ask, liberate from what or whom?

    Pakistani women work shoulder to shoulder with the opposite gender in every walk of life, be it private or public sector, government offices, armed forces, judiciary, medical and nursing field, science and technology, media organizations, education and even as elected legislators of provincial and national assemblies, even the office of the Prime Minister at least twice. It wouldn’t be impertinent to wonder how come the United States of America, a country which is most advanced and highly developed, never had a female as head of the state ?

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  • Tariq Abbasi
    Mar 26, 2012 - 8:44PM

    it seems this acid throwing a purely subcontinental phenomenon……….India blazing the trail with pakistan as second best………only sick sadistic minds can gloat over utter disfigurement of any human being or animal……………….

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  • Vikram
    Mar 27, 2012 - 2:23AM

    @Izhar Minhas (USA): “No one can blame Pakistan for such a terrible act ” Pakistan failed to get justice for this woman. This happened because person responsible for this acid attack knew NOTHING WILL HAPPEN to him. It is time Pakistan has laws giving equal status to women. Husbands should not be allowed to beat their wives for any reason.

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  • Mar 27, 2012 - 9:06PM

    @Vikram:
    Indeed,Pakistan does have strict punitive law for the protection of the women rights and against domestic violence.But,I wonder whether,India has them ?…Because,crime against women are to be observed/reported to be at the highest and extreme levels!

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  • milo
    Mar 28, 2012 - 11:10PM

    Is there any proof that Khar did this? Wasn”t he acquitted by court?

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  • Mar 29, 2012 - 12:09AM

    @milo:
    “Is there any proof that Khar did this? Wasn”t he acquitted by court?”

    Once Aitezaz Ahsan said, that despite Zardari was incarcerated for 11 years, one could not tie him (Zardari) to any case.

    Jimmy Hoffa could not be tied to any case, finally he was busted for faulty income tax declaration.Recommend

  • Vikram
    Mar 29, 2012 - 1:22AM

    @milo:
    Is there any proof that Khar did this? Wasn”t he acquitted by court?

    Rich people can make “proofs disppear”. You can buy police with money?

    To begin with this guy should be given a lie detector test by a foreign non-Pakistani lab. Proper investigation still can uncover some kind of evidence.

    Fakhra did not throw acid on herself. Main suspect in this case is her HUSBAND because she left him after he treated her real bad.

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