As many as 202 women were murdered in the name of honour in Sindh during 2013, with the number of reported cases reaching 28 during the first three months of the current year, the Senate functional committee on human rights was informed on Monday.
Sindh’s Special Home Secretary Nawaz Shaikh told the panel that the Karo-Kari trend is on the rise in rural Sindh due to the Jirga system. As many as 202 women were murdered over Karokari in 2013 while honour killing cases have already reached 28 so far this year.
“Weaknesses in the legal system and encouragement of the Jirga system in the rural areas are responsible for the unabated killing of women in the name of honour,” he said.
Special cells are functioning in all districts of Sindh to encourage the civil society to join and report such cases to prevent violence against women, he told the senators and added that special seminars were also organised from time to time to create awareness.
The committee chairman, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, expressed serious concern over the alarming increase in
‘honour killing’ cases. He directed the provincial government to take effective steps to discourage the menace.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa home department informed the committee that 18 cases of ‘swara’ were registered between January 1 and March 31, 2014, and 173 persons were charged and 165 arrested, whereas eight are absconding.
As per the report provided by the Punjab police chief, six cases of ‘Vani’ were registered during 2013 under 310-A PPC in Punjab and one case was cancelled and five were challenged and 38 out of 39 accused were arrested.
Additional Secretary of Punjab Home Department Chaudhry Asadullah Faiz informed the committee that the provincial government has started the registration of brick kilns to check the exploitation of workers. Thirty-three cases of bonded labour were registered between April 2013 and February 2014.
The Sindh Labour Department also informed the committee that a campaign was started to register brick–kilns in the province since 2009.
According to the document, 741 brick kilns, where 14,257 labourers were working, were registered.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2014.