Just another stat?: Her rape, his honour, her death

Published: September 9, 2014



Samra*,22, who was shot dead on Sunday over ‘honour’, is now at risk of becoming just another number to add to 2014’s toll of such atrocities.

Eight hundred and sixty-nine. That’s just the number of women who were reported to have been killed in Pakistan in 2013, over the morally ambiguous word ‘honour’. There are far fewer statistics on the convictions of those responsible.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) report for the year gone by, for ‘women’—a section neatly tucked under the heading ‘Rights of the disadvantaged’—a lack of control over their bodies and lives was a problem which continued unchanged into 2013. “Often they faced violence simply for stepping out of their homes,” said the report.

For Samra, stepping out of her house unleashed a chain of violence and accusations, eventually leading to her death.

Samra was shot point-blank by her husband—another eventuality predicted by the HRCP report which said husbands remained the most common perpetrators of domestic violence.

When her husband Muhammad Tahir, a resident of Dheri Chari, Mirpur union council in Abbottabad, surrendered to the police on Monday, he said, “I decided to get rid of the dishonour Samra brought to me and took her to the village field and shot her in the head.”

According to Tahir, Samra and her two-year-old boy Kamran* went missing from their house during Ramazan. Her six-month-old child Sameer* was left behind.

Tahir said he lodged an FIR with Mirpur police who tracked Samra through her mobile phone to Chilas in G-B.

Doomed if you don’t

Two weeks ago, added Tahir, Samra told the court of the judicial magistrate she had only gone to Islamabad to attend Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s protest in Islamabad. She refuted accusations that she had eloped with a man from her village identified as Saifur Rehman.

Her husband said his parents had allegedly caught Samra with Saif at two separate occasions soon after Samra and Tahir got married three years ago.

However, the magistrate granted Samra’s request to be sent to a shelter, Darul Aman when she said she felt insecure after accusations of infidelity.

On August 16, her family called and said one of her sons had fallen sick. Tahir collected his wife and the other son from the shelter after submitting a surety with the court.

Doomed if you do

He told the police he brought Samra back under the pretext of their child’s ill health so he could ask her why she went missing from their house.

That is when the 22-year-old mother of two said she had actually been lured by Saif to a park in the village and then forcibly taken to Chilas.

There, Samra had told her husband, Saif and four other unidentified men had raped her repeatedly for several days. They even made a cell phone video of their alleged crime, and used it to threaten her to “keep my mouth shut”, Tahir quoted his wife as telling him.

The alleged rapists also told Samra to divorce her husband, something she had said she was unwilling to do.

Tahir told the police on Monday that even after he took Samra from the shelter, she allegedly saw Saif twice.

“I could not tolerate that,” said her husband, who knew if Samra had indeed met Saif, it could well be the latter had blackmailed the woman, using the video.

But, Tahir said, he could not live with a woman who had been videotaped nude, disregarding the horror his wife and the mother of his two children would have gone through if she had been raped.

*Name changed to protect identity

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • far
    Sep 9, 2014 - 9:23AM

    Allah hu Akbar …where are we heading….the nuisance of society. ?.mobile phones are making our society falling down …the innocent mind which doesn’t know anything can be corrupted with easily accessible with pornograhic sites which can utterly devastating for any person ..I think we shoukd as individuals as a family as a nation start education against inappropriate activities..I think schools should start an etiquette lessons


  • Talha
    Sep 9, 2014 - 9:30AM

    Getting young girls married to older men is the main cause of this sad state of affair. After their marriages these young girls get attracted to young men which is absolutely natural but now they are bound to live the life their parents have decided for them. It is a socioeconomic issue as well. Parents getting their daughters married in teens so they can no further have to look after them financially thus not realizing she is just a kid and can develop an emotional attachment to anyone either her husband or any other guy.

    Secondly, education, education and more education, not only for the kids but for the tribe elders who are treated as gods of their worlds. Elders always support men in situations like honor because they are men too. Having women being a part of the jirga will surely diffuse such sensitive matter IF her voice is heard amongst the gods.

    Lastly, being a male, catching my own woman cheat will be devastating as i have trusted her. I surely will be angry, but to me the last resort will be to leave her and move on.


  • Mamu
    Sep 9, 2014 - 10:32AM

    Agree with you.Recommend

  • Farooq
    Sep 9, 2014 - 10:34AM

    If the young girl marries with complete free will then no one should have a objection on it.Recommend

  • Zorro
    Sep 9, 2014 - 10:40AM

    Got raped, then videotaped all nude. Refused to divorce her husband and got killed by husband just because she was raped. Brilliant!


  • Fahim
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:01AM

    He should have given her divorce if can’t forgive or asked to forgive


  • Arsha
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:04AM

    How easy or difficult can it be to ascertain free will in such context. Often there are socioeconomic and family pressures at play especially in an arranged marriage.
    Ensure that the girl is an adult and self-dependent…. Then free will is likely to be free indeed


  • Sultan Yousuf
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:06AM

    Both are guilty. The man took the law in his hand and made himself as a judge which is unpardonable crime. The woman too was not innocent. Having relationship with a man after marriage is a crime that cannot be forgiven. She must had to be punished thorugh our justice system and not by her husband in the name of honour.


  • Sep 9, 2014 - 11:08AM

    After all this disaster to a family, what is the next move ?,
    The law & Police should look for so called person SAIF & other four ?
    who are the root cause of all this social mess.


  • vinsin
    Sep 9, 2014 - 11:17AM

    You are right but most of the Muslims says modern education is against Islam. Even in India Muslims don’t attend school but madrasas and follow All India Muslims Law Board who is against right to education.


  • Raghu
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:05PM

    Education is very important in Islam. The thing that Muslims differ is what type of Education is given to Humans. America has one of the most literate people around. But then how come every hour in America women are being raped?Recommend

  • sharabi
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:10PM

    Dear you can not generalize for all Indian Muslim, I have never gone to Madrsa.
    However you can say almost 80-85% do not get Secular Modern Education.


  • abcdef
    Sep 9, 2014 - 12:25PM

    This is SAD – I am not sure where our society norms are taking us.

    Indeed this has got to change.


  • Obaid
    Sep 9, 2014 - 1:32PM

    The main cause of this mess was the woman herself. If she would not have let Saif come anywhere near around her, nothing of this sort would have happened. She stepped out of her home by her own will and what followed next was out of her control. She took the first step towards destruction herself and later on became a victim.

    Calling his husband guilty is not right. He had tolerated her long enough and when you put too much trust in your wife and learn she is cheating behind your back, leaving her also does not seem right because no matter what, she has been a part of your life and no man can bear a part of his life to go on with another man.

    Marriages are a different thing than teenage love. How many of you out there are willing to forgive your wife if you know she cheated on you? Women must realize which part of society they are. Watching movies where a heroine runs away with her lover and leads a happily ever after life is not a reality.

    Women have to understand their limits and their dignity too. Men as Saif as so many out there who would hound a woman for their lust. If the woman had stayed away from this, she would still be alive and happy with her husband.


  • Bauka
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:08PM

    you are putting the whole blame on a woman who is a victim and is dead, don’t you think you are being judgmental. I mean how could one say that its all her fault, do we have enough information. Do you think this article engulfs all the scenario due to which a women died and two kids lost a mother. Do you know what her husband think now… I think she was not guilty, she shouldn’t be guilty of her death …. If some girl is raped, humiliated and think of anything unimaginable whatever it be death is not the answer or solution ……


  • Danial Shah
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:10PM

    @Obaid People with your mindset are the cause of decline of this country. Our religion teaches us to forgive, it also tells you that one death is equal to death to humanity. Morality is also defied as forgiveness is needed rather than revenge on the already scarred woman. I sincerely hope that one day you open a basic etiquette book and learn a thing or two. My dog is more educated than you.


  • Nemesis
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:14PM

    @Obaid Women were not created to serve your disgusting needs. Why should women be punished for a crime where men were responsible?

    How come there is so much disparity when it comes to gender? If a woman gets raped, the Saudi conservative Hadood ordinance is applied. If a man steals, his hands are not cut. If a woman leaves the house, she is a criminal? If a man rapes, the woman is at fault?

    What sick mentality do you have?


  • Observer
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:36PM

    To all the idiots who have commented here that the girl was cheating, please read the report more carefully. Her husband has admitted that his wife was raped by Saif and three other people.
    The rapists are the one who did the offence and made the video, and they should be punished first. Second should be the husband who deemed it an insult to his ‘honour’ . In my eyes, he is the scum of this earth and a dishonourable man. The husband should also be punished heavily ,including death to him.
    To all those who disagree with me, you would agree with me , if you were born as a woman.


  • vinsin
    Sep 9, 2014 - 2:42PM

    Then why he didn’t give her divorce.

    Sorry I accept my mistake. I agree close to 70% of them are attending normal school. I just wanted to say that All India Muslim law board opposes modern education for Indian Muslims.

    What education has to do with rape? Where it is mentioned that education aim is to eliminate rape?


  • Obaid
    Sep 9, 2014 - 3:23PM

    @Danial Shah:
    You people are getting sentimental over the things which are not subjected to this story. If you want to talk about the entire women gender, go to an open forum and start a fresh debate. Read the news above and comment according to the news and the happenings described in it.

    The woman in this story is dead and not the entire female race of the world. Se got what this society will serve to the women who make this mistake. In a country where you cannot get justice from courts, these kind of decisions will be made every day and every hour.

    Tell me. Do we all know that woman personally? No, she might have been a complete opposite of what is described in this news or it might be entirely true. But what do you say about the story of the woman above who was absent from her house without informing her relatives and was traced by her cellphone and brought back. If she had her cellphone active the whole time and was being raped, why didn’t she call for help?

    It’s what her deeds were that brought the fate upon her. When she was sent to Dar-ul-Aman, she didn’t stop seeing that man. The husband shot her after a long time not when she was absent from her home not when she was safely residing in the Dar-ul-Aman. But when she again went missing and then narrated the entire story. Remember, she was not abducted but reached her lover on her own feet.

    This has nothing to do with my thinking or the people of the nation. This is the common mistake women are doing these days and they should realize their situation, if they would be able to escape a horrible fate as this. Getting education from a dog wouldn’t bring you any sense. But being able to recognize the flaw in your decision and the after effects will keep you safe from harm.

    Try to respond sensibly. Getting fired up is not the solution to any problem.


  • danial shah
    Sep 9, 2014 - 4:01PM


    Lets assume you are right and you get the benefit of doubt, how can you justify murder? Noone deserves to be self-righteous and make a final judgment.

    You should also look at it from a woman’s Point of view..shouldnt men be educated not to rape rather than not letting women leave their homes?

    Your mentality reminds me of this Saudi cleric who asked a few women to even cover their eyes apart from Niqab cause horny men were even getting turned on by their eyes.


  • Obaid
    Sep 9, 2014 - 5:37PM

    @danial shah:
    No one appreciates murder nor the murderer. But sadly this is what happens in Pakistan and the underdeveloped countries all over the globe. It even happens in the developed countries. Rape has been present for almost forever and it will remain no matter how hard you try to eliminate it.

    I hear people saying education. Do you have any suggestion? Even lawyers, doctors and teachers have been accused of rapes. These are the educated people of the society.

    This cannot be taught in schools or universities. This education can only be taught at home. The mother and father should teach their child to respect sisters. Teach them to respect the girls around them.

    These rapists are the ones who were never corrected by their elders as children. They developed a habit to exploit the weaker ones since childhood and when they grow up, they find a new way to bully and enjoy lust as well.

    If you want to end this menace. Start educating your children to respect others. Unless this tolerance and respect is instilled as a child, there is no way he can control his actions as an adult. Its impossible to teach an old dog new tricks.

    Compare me to any cleric. But you cannot put the blame one just one gender. Both will have to play an equal role if this menace needs to end.


  • Strategic Asset
    Sep 9, 2014 - 6:06PM

    @sharabi: Nothing wrong in going to a modern Indian madrassa as they also teach math and science and some are even certified by the state board or CBSE. I remember reading about one madrassa that even admitted Hindu students.

    I personally feel that the greatest disservice that has been done to Muslims in India is by Muslim leaders themselves who rally the flock and consolidate their vote during elections for selfish gains by injecting hate and venom against others. These leaders combined with various religious leaders have ensured that the Muslims of India are unable to obtain their basic rights such as education.

    However in the south, I see that more and more Muslims are able to educate their children and consequently they are able to move out of their ghettos and integrate with the rest of society.


  • Moiz Omar
    Sep 10, 2014 - 1:03AM

    R.I.P Samra.Recommend

  • sharabi
    Sep 10, 2014 - 10:27AM

    @Strategic Asset
    Our Muslim Leaders calls for mass rallies for Philistine, Against America & Israel but i have never seen a small rally for Educational awareness, Social Development or even for Population Control & Poverty eradication. And we blame others for our own failures and continuous mistakes. Government is giving scholarships, special programs, Economic assistance for Muslims, Muslim youth Hostels & Even IIT & IIM Coaching for Minorities but we are too busy in nonconstructive works. RIP Education


  • Afaque
    Sep 10, 2014 - 11:26PM

    It is not correct that “most of the Muslims says modern education is against Islam,” Muslims are 1.6 Billion in the world majority does not represent by a bunch of indoctrinated bunch of few thugs. Most muslims know that modern education is pioneered by Muslim scholars much before the so called “European Renaissance,” let me give you a few names, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) 980-1037 CE the father of modern medicine some of his descriptions could never be challenged, ie Cancer, Nasir Uddin Tusi 1201-1274 CE wrote Akhlaq-i-Naseri – A work on ethics, including civics he called hekmat-e-madani. Al-Farabi’s classification of knowledge is his Kitab ihsa al-ulum a foundation of many disciplines in modern science. There are a lot more but very little space here to mention. Muslims are the founder of modern education. The highest degree in modern education is doctorate degree.The term doctorate comes from Latin word “docere,” meaning to teach; the degree in medieval Latin was licentia docendi, license to teach,” this term is the word for word translation of the original Arabic term, ijazat at-tadris wa’l-ifta, license to teach and issue creeds.


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