Pakistani Tribesman Kills Wife, Daughters for Honor

Published November 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A Pakistani tribesman has slaughtered his wife and two daughters in the name of "honor," senior police said Monday. 

Mohammad Umar Magsi, from southwestern Baluchistan province, axed his wife Shehr Banp, 44, and daughters Farzana Magsi, 11, and Sabra Magsi, nine, in his house in this southern port city on Sunday night, police said. 

"I have no regrets because it was a question of my honor," Umar told reporters after he surrendered to police. 

Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said Umar suspected Farzana of "having an affair with someone" and described the killings as part of tribal "tradition." 

He said Umar's rage became a slaughter when his wife and other daughter tried to intervene. 

"Such traditions are quite common among Baluchi and Pashtuns (tribal groups mainly in rural areas of western Pakistan), even if they are living in urban cities like Karachi," Jamil said. 

Hundreds of people, the majority women, are killed every year in Pakistan in the name of honor. 

Human rights groups claim the practice is increasing but authorities often turn a blind eye. 

"If 300 were killed in 1999, around 350 were killed from January to June 2000 in Sindh province alone," Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) representative Moazzam Ali said. 

The government in Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, only last month agreed to treat "honor killings" as murders after an outcry from human rights groups. 

"This is violence against woman," said women's activist Mehnaz Rehman. 

"Human rights organizations have been raising the issue of killing people in the name of honor but the government has not taken any serious notice of increasing incidents." 

Women's aid groups have said numbers of women being treated with severe burns after "kitchen accidents" are also on the rise -- KARACHI (AFP)  




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