WHERE LOVE IS CRIME

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Farzana Iqbal, a girl of 25 years is bludgeoned to death by a group of assailants in Pakistan.

Well what’s the news then?

People are killed every day, girls are raped and now it even no longer makes the headline. Somehow we have learnt to live with that. Today when families live in the constant fear of their daughter’s safety, it is not something new. It has just become the way of life for girls. To be extra careful, to look at every single person with doubtful eyes is something that forms a part and parcel of their day to day routine, be it a working woman while returning from office or a college student returning from college.

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Well…..you are right it doesn’t make news, well but not every other day the group of assailants that kills girls like Farzana Iqbal consists of their own father and brother.

Now you get it. Killed by father, and it’s not hard to guess why, yes….because she married the man she loved without the consent of her family. In a place where girls are supposed to take permission for every single thing they do, it is completely unacceptable.

Still you are thinking why is this so different? This is honor killing and has happened before. Well then let’s just say its news because United Nations has condemned this act, now that‘s a reason good enough is it?

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Well the real reason is not any of these, what is truly disturbing is that there have not been and will not be any convictions in this case. Nobody will be blamed or punished for the heinous crime committed.

Why?

It is because the Pakistani courts follow Islamic law under which the victim’s family decided the fate of convicted criminals.

And yes I am serious; there would be no convictions at all. So that would mean that someone could commit a murder in the name of honor by pass any dreadful consequences? Is this the message we are passing on to the coming generations?

Freedom of expression is something a woman has to struggle for. To display her desires and to love is a crime. When a person can have the right to vote and elect a government after 18 yrs of age why cannot they have the right to choose their life partners?

Love is an unconditional bond that knows no boundaries. We do know that there have been successful love marriages. What then drives these fathers and brothers to kill their own daughters and sisters?

“It is the desire of acceptance. These men think that they will not be accepted or looked down upon by their neighbors and tribes. Communities they live in will outcast them.”

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This is what they all say but I doubt it.

Is it really the fear of being an outcast that makes them forget the love they have for their own daughters and sisters?

According to me it is a more about personal opinion and the inertia of their thoughts. They d not want any change. They believe that the society must go on the way as it has been going on since a time long ago. Or even a bigger reason could be because they cannot accept the fact that the girl who until yesterday had to make every decision after their consent is now independent enough to decide the big things on her own.

They have seen their mothers and sisters being obedient to their fathers and hence they expect the same in future. The idea is the dominance of society by the men. It is this belief that leads women like Asma Jahangir being condemned in the country. Asma Jahangir is a Human Rights activists working for the women in Pakistan and those around the globe. Most of the people of Pakistan, mostly men, blame her for spoiling the women of their country or in other words making them more aware of their own rights.

However the main idea here being that in such a country like Pakistan is there a hope for women to live with dignity?

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Well until Pakistani women such as Asma are there we can surely say there is hope for other women too. No matter how weak the ray of hope is. It must be seized before it wanes away into darkness.

And even there are men who believe in the advancement of the society, there are fathers who believe that their daughters deserve better. They may be few but they must hold on to hope and continue to persevere.

Last but not the least let’s not forget that the country’s 11th Prime Minister was a lady named Benazir Bhutto, who still is an inspiration for many others. This could never have happened if there was no scope for women.

Because there are many more girls like Farzana who are suffering and screaming for help. This case got the limelight because the killing was committed in front of the Lahore High Court which is the country’s cultural capital. We would never know how many women have suffered the same fate inside their homes and in the dark lanes of the city.

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