Pakistani tells how he killed 4 daughters

The laborer, 40, says he took their lives to save his family's 'honor'

Associated Press Dec. 28, 2005

Nazir Ahmed, 40, who killed his three young daughters and their adult stepsister, is processed in police detention in Gago Mandi near Multan, Pakistan. : AP

MULTAN, PAKISTAN - Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year old stepsister to salvage his family's "honor" - a crime that shocked some in Pakistan. The 40-year old laborer, speaking to the Associated Press in police detention as he was being shifted to prison, said he had only one regret - that he didn't kill the stepsister's alleged lover too.

Hundreds of girls and women are killed by male relatives each year in this conservative Islamic nation, and rights groups said Wednesday such "honor killings" will only stop when authorities get serious about punishing perpetrators. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that in more than half of such cases that make it to court, most end with cash settlements paid by relatives to the victims' families, although the minimum penalty is 10 years and the maximum is death by hanging.

Ahmed's killing spree - witnessed by his wife, Rehmat Bibi, as she cradled their 3-month-old baby son - happened Friday night at their home in eastern Punjab province. It is the latest of more than 260 such honor killings documented by the rights commission, mostly from media reports, during the first 11 months of 2005. Ahmed said he killed his stepdaughter because she had committed adultery, and his daughters because he didn't want them to do the same when they grew up.

Hudood Laws in Pakistan that a woman must have four male witnesses to prove rape, or face a charge of adultery herself.The most well-known among Hudood cases is that concerning a rape victim, Zafran Bibi, who last year was charged with adultery and sentenced to be stoned to death

According to Kanez Ayesha Munawwar, a member of Pakistan's National Assembly who is against the repeal of Hudood, "These laws will make our society a moral one. I think (they) give the Pakistani woman protection. If these laws are implemented with all honesty, it will actually empower her."

Islamists vow to fight reforms of laws

Reuters Published: 08/25/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)

Islamabad: An opposition alliance of Pakistani religious parties vowed on Thursday to launch a protest campaign to block the amendment of Islamic laws that liberals have long criticised as unfair to women. The ruling party introduced a Bill in Parliament on Monday to amend the laws, one of which makes rape victims liable for prosecution for adultery unless they produce four male witnesses. The laws, known as the Hudood Ordinance, were introduced in 1979 by military dictator Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq and have since drawn widespread criticism from rights activists.

But Islamic conservatives oppose any amendment. "We will go in public and let them know that under the garb of this Bill and women rights, the government is deviating from the Quran and Sunnah," said Liaqat Baluch, deputy leader of a six-party opposition alliance of Islamic parties. Baluch said the government wanted to amend the laws because of foreign pressure. "They are doing this under outside pressure. It is a foreign agenda and it has nothing to do with Pakistani people," he said. He did not elaborate but Islamists often accuse the United States of meddling in Pakistani affairs.

Rallies in various cities would be held, Baluch said. Clerics across the country would also preach against the amendments at their Friday sermons, he said.

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