MIANWALI: Pakistani society is an amalgam of different groups and cultures. These groups have different values and practices. However, there are a few practices that seem to be common to many parts of the country, which include the violence and suppression that women are subjected to.
Such practices include child marriage (vani), honour killings, marriage to the Quran, and so on. Child marriage is a custom that is followed in the tribal areas and in some areas of Punjab. Young girls are forcibly married in order to resolve conflicts between different clans. On the other hand, the practice of honour killing is more prevalent in Sindh and Balochistan, although one does see such cases in other parts of the country too from time to time.
These cruel social practices have destroyed the fabric of our society. It is the state’s duty to protect the rights of women. Society can also play a very important role in triggering positive change by raising voice against such uncivilised practices. The government must improve the police structure at the grassroots level so that at least the state’s law-enforcement apparatus’s response is one that can safeguard, to some extent, the rights of citizens. It is also important to recruit more women to the police department.
Muhammad Uzair Niazi
Published in The Express Tribune, September 10th, 2012.