Married at 9, slain by parents at 17

By Bruce Loudon in Islamabad

September 06, 2008 12:00am
Article from: theaustralian.news.com.au

DESPAIR among human rights workers in Pakistan over a rash of so-called “honour killings” intensified yesterday when it was disclosed that a girl forced into marriage with a 45-year-old man at the age of nine had been killed by her parents because she asked for an annulment.

The girl, 17, who had been fighting a lonely but successful legal battle, was coming out of court in the Punjabi city of Sahiwal after being granted the annulment by a judge when she was surrounded by a group of men and shot in view of police.

The death of Saira Nusrat Bibi has added further to concerns among human rights campaigners already outraged over the case of five women – among them three teenage schoolgirls – buried alive in the province of Baluchistan because they wanted to marry men of their choice in defiance of the wishes of tribal leaders.

The Baluchistan case was worsened by an attempt by a member of the country’s national parliament, senator Israr Ullah Zehri, to defend it, telling colleagues that “these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them”, The Weekend Australian reports…

Yesterday, the Government bowed to pressure and ordered an inquiry into the killings.

Details that have emerged from the village of Baba Kot in Baluchistan indicate that the three girls — aged between 16 and 18 – and two of their elderly relatives were “shot at” before being buried alive.

“When the fuming elders of the Umrani tribe came to know about the intentions of these girls, they picked them up from their homes along with two of their elderly relatives,” one account said.

“The crying girls were pushed into official cars and driven to a deserted area. There they were pushed out of the cars, made to stand in a queue, and volleys of shots fired at them. As the bleeding girls fell to the sand, the tribesmen dragged them into a nearby ditch and levelled it with earth and stones.

“As the two shocked elderly women tried to rescue the hapless girls, they too were gunned down and buried in the same manner. The killers after burying these women returned to their tribe like conquerors without any action taken against them.”

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3 Comments

  1. Wow. This is the second story this month about honor killings in Baluchistan. That story about the 5 women being buried was tragic. I fear that the perpetrators of this crime will never be brought to justice. They are politically tied, and are free from investigation.
    Great site,
    Joe

    Reply
  2. I would like to pose this question. “What is going through the head and heart of a man who wants to marry a nine-year old?” The only thing that that comes to my mind is that is is inherent and cultutal pedophillia. Help me to understand the male psyche that needs to feel powerful at the expense of a child young enough to be his granddaughter.

    Reply
  3. rose boyle

     /  September 12, 2008

    After reading stories like these you really do want
    to find a way to “do something” about these terrible incidents of insanity on the part of the men
    involved in these killings…Men and women i believe were designed as perfect compliments to each other in all ways….thanks to all the women all over the world that are waking up to their strength and infinite potential…may we gently and
    lovingly assert ourselves in every moment we feel
    guided to….the whole world IS watching

    Reply

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