Canada appalled by ‘honour’ killing in Pakistan

FOREIGN Affairs Minister John Baird on Wednesday said that Canada is appalled by the stoning of a pregnant woman by her family in Lahore, Pakistan, on May 27.

Baird said: “Such events remain all too common in Pakistan, where, according to some estimates, more than 800 women were victims of so-called “honour” killings in 2013. It is unacceptable for the world to stand by and watch as the most vulnerable are targeted in such a brutal and barbaric way.

“The fact that this killing was done publicly and in front of a Pakistani High Court is even more shocking.

“Canada calls upon the Government of Pakistan to respect its international human rights obligations and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

IANS/EFE reported: “A Pakistani woman was killed Tuesday by her three brothers outside a Lahore court for getting married against their family’s wishes, a police source told EFE.

“The incident occurred at 8 a.m. in the vicinity of the Lahore High Court where the victim was going to attend a public hearing when her three brothers came and started throwing bricks at her.

“”Some of the bricks hit her head and caused fatal injuries,” a local police agent explained, who also said that the woman died shortly after being transferred to a nearby hospital.

“According to the source, the three attackers were able to escape after committing the crime and the police were yet to register any murder case.

“According to the authorities, the victim decided to marry a man of her choice against her family’s wishes a year ago, and the couple had to flee from their hometown of Jaranwala, about 100 km south of Lahore.

“The so-called “honour crimes” are very common in South Asia and usually involve a male of the family avenging a perceived affront that contravenes the conservative family morals of the local society.

“In Pakistan, these murders cost the lives of two to three women every day.

“According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), 869 lives were lost last year in such killings. There were also many cases which go unregistered.

“HRCP has criticised the Islamic tradition of pardoning the criminal if the family of the victim forgives and favours the aggressor.”