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Sunday, November 23, 2008

RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Helpless Against Honour Killings By Zofeen Ebrahim

By appointing as cabinet ministers two politicians known for their anti-women views, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has stirred up a storm of protests from rights activists and prominent personalities who believed that an elected government would help their country emerge from feudalism.

A "slap" in the face of "decency" is how rights activists in Pakistan have described the elevation of Senator Israrullah Zehri, who made headlines recently when he supported in parliament the barbaric custom of honour killing as being "part of our custom" and declared that he would defend it.

The other politician to be given a ministry, this month, was Mir Hazir Khan Bijarani. In 2006, he was ordered to be arrested by a five-member Supreme Court bench for participating in a jirga (tribal council which is both judge and the jury and banned since 2004) that encouraged the practice of vani (in which minor girls are married off to end blood feuds). ...


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