A 25-year-old woman was stoned to death by her father and two brothers in an apparent ‘honour killing’ outside the Lahore High Court Tuesday morning after she married a man of her choice.
Farzana Iqbal of Chak 167, Jaranwala, was previously engaged to a cousin but chose to marry Muhammad Iqbal, a resident of Syedawala, a month ago. Her family registered a kidnapping case against Iqbal at Syedawala police station and Farzana arrived at the LHC to record her statement in favour of her husband, officials said.
A number of police officials and security personnel for the Advocate General Punjab office were present at the LHC at the time.
Police said Farzana was waiting outside the LHC, near a mosque, when members of her family opened fire at her. She survived the firing and subsequently, nearly a dozen men, including her father, brothers and former fiancée, pelted her with bricks and stones, according to Civil Lines SP Umar Riaz Cheema.
Witnesses said the men were waiting in cars before Farzana arrived at the LHC. The men continued to stone her until she died on the spot.
Local police reached the spot soon after Farzana died and registered a case on her husband’s complaint. A police official said Muhammad Iqbal was not near Farzana as she was attacked but did not try to prevent the attack, instead saving himself from the members of her family.
Farzana suffered head injuries and was taken to the hospital by passersby, where she was declared dead on arrival. The body was taken for autopsy and police told The Express Tribune that Farzana’s skull had been crushed in the attack.
All attackers except Farzana’s father, Muhammad Azeem, fled from the scene. Azeem confessed to police that he killed his daughter as it was a matter of honour. No further arrests have been made by the Mozang police yet.
According to rights group Aurat Foundation, honour killings claim an estimated 1,000 lives of women every year in Pakistan – the figure is compiled from news reports and the Foundation states that actual statistics may be greater.
Wasim Wagha of the Foundation pointed out that Pakistani law allows the victim’s family to forgive a killer and therefore the law allows them to nominate someone to carry out a murder and subsequently ‘forgive’ him.
“This is a huge flaw in the law,” he said. “We are really struggling on this issue.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
@Arif Sheikh: When a 'family matter' results in death ...this becomes a community matter! I don't understand how any loving family could put their standing in society higher than the life of one of their own! It s right that the Pakistani community are challenged on this aspect of their community rights and rituals.
Poor women of Pakistan, only God may help you Men are animals in Pakistan, Wait for God help
@Arif Sheikh: sir what is so honorable in murdering your own sister, please elaborate, there is a slight chance that i might have sympathized with the father if he committed suicide being pushed so hard by the society. If the people tell you to kill your sister , you dont kill your sister, the equation is pretty simple.
@Rajat Seth: His comment shows why pakistan is like this and its because of people like him but not always what pakistan is. because all the other comments are also pakistan. I wont blame you for saying this because what has happened is not just shameful , its "wrong" and heinous.
@Arif Sheikh : Your comment shows what country Pakistan is.
@Arif Sheikh: Do you think murder of her and her unborn child is right?
Heartless ! Every human being has a choice over marrying a person they want. Why violence when this happens ? Are women not human beings with feelings, needs and emotion ? Those in Pakistan fossilized in the seventh century need to be reeducated so they can make a non violent transition to this twenty first century.
Very disappointed by this biased reporting and comments. It's a family matter. Please respect feelings of the family that was put to so much humiliation by this woman that they had no other way to protect their honour.
@Kashif Naqvi: This nation is going to the drain. Where is our Khadem #1 - Mian Shahbaz and Punjab police. Punjab police is only protecting the Mian's and their families. Shameful leaders and a Shameful country. No one cares about that poor girl who is killed.
Utterly babaric. Shameful. This nation is going nowhere
Please do not call it honor killing , its murder
A murder is a murder and this is one of the most brutal murders that I have heard of in a long time. Please stop calling anything "Honor Killing". The murders should be stoned to death at the same spot that they killed this woman. They had no right to do this to her and the world is asking us questions.... if the society tolerates this then we have become worst than demons.
That's it. I give up.