As many as 2,713 cases of violence against women have been reported in southern Punjab since January 2012, a research by the Awaz Foundation Centre for Development states.
These include cases of aas-aaf custom (10) – in which women accused of ‘bringing shame to the family’ take an oath of innocence on the Holy Quran and then walk on burning coals spread over six metres–, abduction and torture after abduction (577), acid attacks (20), burning by throwing kerosene oil and petrol (17), kaala kaali (25), assault after divorce (45), assault by in-laws (100), ‘honour’ killings (112), murder and assault for contracting a marriage with their free will (114), murder (162), victims of panchayat decisions where women were either sold or killed (37), rape (304), assault by police (20), suicide in reaction to family pressure, rape or other forms of violence (444), torture leading to physical or mental disability (489), wani (37), watta satta (25) and cases of gender discrimination and disinheritance (175).
Danish Zaidi, communication and advocacy officer at Awaz Foundation, said that the report was based on media monitoring and data collection from 15 districts and 53 tehsils of south Punjab.
He said the data revealed that the 15 districts had the highest reported incidents of crime against women in Pakistan in 2012 so far.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2012.