14-year-old killed for refusing to marry father’s cousin

Mother says she does not want to see killers prosecuted.

Shahid Mirza February 04, 2011

VEHARI: A 14-year-old girl was killed in Vehari on Wednesday night allegedly by his family for refusing to marry a man they proposed.

Rafia’s father Mukhtar Hussain and an uncle were arrested by Luddan police on Thursday. The police said Hussain and his brothers – former nazim Muhammad Ramzaan and Farasat Hussain – killed the girl by giving her electric shocks.

SHO Mirza Asif Baig said that Mukhtar Hussain had admitted to killing his daughter. He said Hussain wanted to marry the girl to his 52-year-old cousin, Saeed Ahmed. Hussain told the police his cousin was married but had no son. He said they had registered a case against Hussain and his brother.

The victim’s mother, nominally the complainant, told The Express Tribune that she did not want her husband to be jailed. “My daughter was a disgrace to the family. We can’t tolerate our children disrespecting their elders’ wishes so we killed her,” Mukhtar Mai said, “why would I want my husband to be punished? He did the right thing.”

She said that earlier she had wanted to marry Rafia in her family. She added that she withdrew her decision once her husband and his brothers decided to marry her to Ahmed.

Ali Muhammad, the girl’s grand father, also endorsed his son’s actions. He said Rafia had previously tried to elope with a neighbour.

Experts said that in such cases the court had the power to set aside any attempt by the complainant to withdraw or settle the case or pardon the murderers.

Sayed Faisal Raza Bukhari, a criminal law expert, told the Tribune that in honour killing cases where the complainant had withdrawn or intended to withdraw the FIR, the court had the right to intervene and punish the offender. He said Section 311 of the Pakistan Penal Code vested the power in the court. He said it was meant to stop people from abusing the judicial process.

Section 311: ta’zir on waiver of qisas

Ta’zir after waiver or compounding of right of qisas in qatl-i-amd:

Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 309 or Section 310, where all the wali do not waive or compound the right of qisas, or [if] the principle of fasad-fil-arz the Court may, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, punish an offender against whom the right of qisas has been waived or compounded with death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description for a term of which may extend to fourteen years as ta’zir.

Provided that if the offence has been committed in the name or on the pretext of honour, the imprisonment shall not be less than ten years.


For the purpose of this section, the expression ‘fasad-fil-arz’ shall include the past conduct of the offender, or whether he has any previous convictions, or the brutal or shocking manner in which the offence has been committed which is outrageous to the public conscience, or if the offender is considered a potential danger to the community or if the offence has been committed in the name or on the pretext of honour.

Code of Criminal Procedure

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2011.


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