Daily Briefs

Photo : Daily Times

28 May 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.28

Violence against Women in Pakistan continues. This time a honour killing in Waziristan

Violence against Women in Pakistan continues. This time an honour killing in Waziristan; Locust threat; COVID, Pakistan's complaints on India

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus

Violence against Women in Pakistan continues. This time an honour killing in Waziristan

By Abigail Miriam Fernandez

In the news
Recently, in North Waziristan two suspects were arrested who were involved in the killing of two teenage girls in the name of honour. Both are relatives of the victims, one being the father and the other is a cousin of the girls. The two of the three girls were killed on 14 May, after an 'objectionable' short video of them with a young man in a secluded area outdoors surfaced on social media. 
Issues at large
First, the belief of women as property and thereby a source of honour is deeply rooted in society. For many within Pakistan, women and girls are seen to embody family honour, their identity, existence and social respects are derived or measured by their obedience to family demands. This is even more prominent in tribal societies, where anything a woman does can compromise the honour of the family. Thus, honour crimes are committed as a way of policing or disciplining women and girls who are seen to be violating the social code. 

Hundreds of women and girls are killed in the name of "honour" in Pakistan every year. Clapping, dancing, enjoying at weddings, living life independently or even desiring to be educated are crimes that are believed to put in stake the honour of the family and society, thereby sanctifying their killings.
Second, tribal practices and customs possess a higher status than the federal law. Given the geographical context of this incident, women in tribal areas like in North Waziristan, have little freedom, and local customs often hold greater influence than federal laws. In many regions, honour killing is not considered as a crime by the jirga (tribal council) but a legitimate action of the man whose family was dishonoured. 
Third, successive governments have failed to govern mainstream legislations. The lack of governance in tribal areas has left conservative and archaic practices to continue. The federal government has not been able to implement legislation in these regions. Thus, the government of Pakistan has failed to exercise due diligence in protecting the rights of women. Further, the rise of militancy in tribal areas has not been efficiently tackled by the government, leaving women a target of violence.
Fourth, the limited reach of the judiciary in tribal areas has made fighting a legal battle inaccessible for these women. Seeking justice is extremely problematic in Pakistan where many legal loopholes currently exist which allow perpetrators of honour killings to escape any punishment. Under Pakistani law in cases of murder, the victim's family is allowed to pardon the perpetrators. The culprits are then free from prosecution and sentencing.
In perspective 
First, crimes against women seem to be a private matter in Pakistan where the law or state authorities are unable to 'break the glass ceiling'.  Despite the government's legislative initiative and achievement, the law has not prevented the murder of women for honour, and the number of victims who have been prone to violence has only increased.
Second, 'honour killings' are an extreme expression of patriarchal violence, and this practice needs to be strongly condemned and timely justice must be delivered. However, killing in the name of honour is not driven by customs and traditions only but also by the local gender system, a feudal structure that upholds the conceptions and sanctity of manhood, and the complicit role of state institutions and law enforcement agencies. More leaders will have to speak about the issue and initiatives to change attitudes.

Third, from a larger perspective honour killing are not an exclusively Pakistan's problem. Cases emerge routinely from countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and even Muslim diasporas in Western countries. Nor are honour killings an exclusively Muslim problem. Thus, a major key in tackling this issue is starting from the bottom; it is only when communities see these crimes as unethical can transformation and change occur.

The above note was published as a part of the Conflict Weekly, published by the NIASClick for the entire editionClick here to subscribe for Conflict Weekly.


In Brief

Bilawal Bhutto blames government for failure to tackle locust attacks
The PPP Chairman accused the government of being ill-prepared to handle the locust attacks. He said no measures were taken by the party despite previous cautions regarding the locust attacks and warned of a serious economic impact.
(“PM, his cabinet responsible for locust attacks: Bilawal,” The News, 28 May 2020)

China and Pakistan cooperate to fight against desert locusts
The first agricultural diplomat in Pakistan has reported that, China and Pakistan have come together to bring innovative technology tools to deal with the locust attacks in the region. He also mentioned that bilateral agricultural cooperation had furthered due to the locust attacks.
(“China and Pakistan join efforts against locusts, pandemic,” The News, 28 May 2020)

Usman Buzdar directs authorities to take necessary measures against locust attacks.
The Chief Minister has ordered all related departments in Punjab to prepare to protect crops. He has asked to focus on aerial crop spraying. “Effective campaign should be carried out in a scientific manner to protect the crops”, Buzdar added. (“Usman Buzdar orders steps to protect crops from locust attack,” The News, 28 May 2020)

PIA crash: Cockpit voice recorder (CVR) still missing
A PIA representative reported that the plane crash was simultaneously investigated by both French experts and Air­craft Accident and Investi­gation Board (AAIB). But the flight data recorder and CVR, which are vital parts of the black box have been confirmed to be missing. He added that the search to locate them will continue.
(Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, “French team, local investigators scour air crash site for clues,” Dawn, 28 May 2020)

Pakistan army downed a quadcopter in the region

The Chief of Inter-Services Public Relations tweeted that Pakistan troops had shot down an Indian quadcopter found to be flying 650 metres into Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Military sources say the recurrence of such drones are part of India’s intelligence gathering activities and that Pak army had similarly shot down all such drones in the months of March and May. (Tariq Naqash, “India’s spy drone shot down along LoC,” Dawn, 28 May 2020,)

Pakistan disapproves the construction of the temple in Ayodhya 
Pakistan condemned the construction of the temple at the Babri Masjid site in India claiming that the action was an advancement of the ‘Hindutva agenda’ by the BJP led government in India. The official said the judgement of the Supreme Court in India on Ayodhya's case was a non-secular verdict and that it threatened the religious freedom of minorities. Ministry of Foreign Affairs said India was scheming to demonizing the minority Islamic community during Covid-19 and urged the international community to account for the continuous violence on the minorities as Human Rights violations. ("Pakistan condemns the construction of the temple at Babri Masjid site,” The Express Tribune, 28 May 2020)

Sindh suffers from coronavirus as rising cases break records
The coronavirus cases in Sindh soared to 24,206 as 699 new positive cases were detected in the province in the last 24 hours. Six more lives were lost yesterday and the death toll reached 380 in Sindh. The provincial government reported that around 31 percent of the 2,177 tests turned positive; this is worrisome as it is the highest ratio so far in Pakistan. Sindh Chief Minister once again urged people to stay safe at home and avoid crowding in public places. (“Raising tally: Sindh’s Covid-19 positive ratio climbs to 31%,” The Express Tribune, 28 May 2020)

Balochistan's ‘Killer road’ claims more lives than terrorism
The number of accidents in Balochistan highway surpasses the region’s fatality due to terrorism. The 813 kilometers long Quetta-Karachi highway is locally called as “killer road” as it has recorded more than 800 accidents in 2019 alone. This road is also a strategically significant single-lane highway connecting Karachi to Chaman (bordering Afghanistan) which has attracted Chinese investment as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project to facilitate Chinese cargo movements to the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. (“Killer highway in Balochistan more deadly than terrorism,” The Express Tribune, 28 May 2020)

Senior Journalist killed in Jacobabad, PFUJ expresses condemn
The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) deplored the murder of the senior reporter of the Sindhi newspaper Daily Koshish in Jacobabad. The journalist was shot dead in the name of honour. PFUJ demanded the Sindh government to arrest the culprits and investigate the case as an independent justice manner. Also, the World Press Freedom Index pointed out Pakistan’s 145th rank regarding Press freedom in the year 2020. (“PFUJ condemns journalist’s murder, seeks killers’ arrest,” Dawn, 28 May 2020)

The government is taking a risky strategy, says the opinion in Dawn
The opinion article in Dawn says a warning was sent by the Special Assistant to Prime Minister to reimpose “strict lockdown” if coronavirus cases persisted to increase in Pakistan. It makes an observation on the muddled approach of the federal government in taking steps to control the pandemic. It also identifies the declining number of sample testing during Eid holidays and testing of only symptomatic people who embark from various countries as adding to the risk of the coronavirus crisis in Pakistan. (“Relentless rise in Covid-19 cases,” Dawn, 28 May 2020) 


"The international community must hold India to account for the continuous violations of human rights of minorities and urge the Indian government to take immediate steps to ensure that the rights of all minorities are fully protected and promoted as per India’s obligations under international instruments to which it is a party"

- Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
quoted in the Express Tribune


In Focus and In Brief sections are prepared by Lakshmi V Menon, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, A Padmashree and P Harini Sha.


Other Daily Briefs

25 September 2020, Friday I Vol 1, No.142

The Fallouts of the All Parties Conference:

24 September 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.141

Establishment and the PML-N:

23 September 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.140

For the US, the priority in Pakistan is to advance human rights :

22 September 2020, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.139

One day after the All Parties Conference:

21 September 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.138

Nawaz Sharif goes on an offensive and talks about

19 September 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.137

Kashmir will be the focus of PM Khan’s UN address, says FO

18 September 2020, Friday I Vol 1, No.136

Pakistan’s Persisting Polio Problem:

17 September 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.135

The need for a twin strategy in south Balochistan:

16 September 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.134

A non-bailable arrest warrant for Nawaz Sharif:

15 September 2020, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.133

The CPEC march continues:

11 September 2020, Friday I Vol 1, No.130

Pakistan and the SCO

10 September 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.129

Accountability Court declares Nawaz Sharif as an absconder

09 September 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.128

Federal-Provincial divide over Karachi increases

07 September 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.126

On Karachi, PPP and PTI divide comes to open

05 September 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.125

Kashmir in the UN and Pakistan

02 September, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.122

Court directs Nawaz Sharif to appear before the court

01 September, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.121

Rains and Floods continue to haunt Pakistan

27 August 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.117

An article speculates the Opposition’s options and strategies

26 August 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.116

"General Bajwa stabilized Pak-Saudi ties"

24 August 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.114

Pakistan, China and J&K

22 August 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.113

Pakistan and China pledge to safeguard common interests

20 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.111

The tragedy of Scientists from Pakistan's minority communities

19 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.110

"Pakistan can never recognise Israel," says Imran Khan

18 August 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.109

PTI's two-year report card

15 August 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.107

Pakistan's Palestine Dilemma

14 August 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.106

Pakistan at 73: Celebrating the Independence Day

13 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.105

COAS Gen Bajwa to visit Saudi Arabia soon

12 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.104

Government and opposition agree on six FATF bills

10 August 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.102

The FATF divides within Pakistan

09 August 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.101

Pakistan This Week

08 August 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.100

National Assembly clears two FATF bills, but blocks one.

07 August 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.99

Govt decides to lift restrictions as COVID cases decline

06 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.98

Pakistan's continuing Kashmir frenzy

05 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.97

Pakistan's new Map of J&K

04 August 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.96

Kashmir obsession in Pakistan

31 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.94

Two FATF bills passed in the National Assembly

30 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.93

Religiosity in Pakistan: From Creeping to now Galloping

29 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.92

Opposition parties attempt to come together

28 July 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.91

Pakistan's internal debate on Kulbhushan Jadav

26 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.89

Pakistan This Week

23 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.86

On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad

19 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.82

Pakistan This Week

17 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.80

The licences are not fake but only dubious

16 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.79

On building Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan

15 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.78

On Af-Pak Transit Trade

12 July 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No. 75

Pakistan This Week

11 July 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.74

FATF action plan to be completed at the earliest: Shaikh

08 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.71

Return of Lal Masjid Maulana

07 July 2020, Tuesday , Vol 1, No.70

Female Literacy in the Pashtun tribal regions

06 July 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.69

The problem with Pakistan Railways

02 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.65

The Curious case of "Minus One" Formula in Pakistan

30 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.63

BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi

28 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.61

Pakistan This Week

27 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.60

PTM accepts the dialogue offer, but wants CBMs

24 June 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.57

Reviewing Pakistan's Space Programme

23 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.56

Imran Khan says he was against the idea of lockdown

21 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.54

Pakistan This Week

20 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.53

Budgets presented in KP, and in Gilgit-Baltistan

19 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.52

PTI tries to get the BNP back into coalition,

18 June 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.51

Baloch partner of the PTI government leaves the coalition

15 June 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.48

The PTI government invites the PTM for a dialogue

14 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.47

Pakistan This Week

13 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.46, Special Brief

Pakistan Budget 2020-21: The First Cut

12 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.44, Special Brief

Pakistan’s Economic Survey 2019-20

07 June 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.38

Pakistan This Week

05 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.36

Highest COVID Spike

04 June 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.35

Imran receives a briefing at the ISI HQ

03 June 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.34

Covid cases spike and Lahore becomes the epicentre

01 June 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.32

Drivers of Karachi Violence

30 May 2020, Saturday, No 1, No.30

Gwadar port ready for the Afghan goods

29 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.29

Pakistan remembers 28 May Nuclear Tests

24 May 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.24

Pakistan This Week

22 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.22

The missing girls of Pakistan

21 May 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.21

Locusts threaten Pakistan's food security

17 May 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No 17

Pakistan This Week

15 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.15

Disregard for SOPs peaks Covid-19 cases

14 May 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No 14

Violence in Afghanistan and the Media in Pakistan

12 May 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No 12

Smart Lockdown, SOPs vs Social Realities

9 May 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No 9

Record COVID-19 spike in a single day;

6 April 2020, Monday

Punjab: Surge in Covid-19 cases

2 April 2020, Thursday

Centre extends lockdown to 14th April

25 March 2020, Sunday 

Multiparty conference blames Imran Khan

24 March 2020, Tuesday 

Curfew last option: Imran Khan

21 March 2020, Saturday

Pakistan fights CoronaVirus

5 March 2020, Thursday

26.5 per cent drop in trade deficit

27 January 2020, Monday 

PTI's Punjab problem

27 January 2020, Monday 

For the PTI, all is not well inside Punjab

25 January 2020, Saturday

Pakistan successfully tests Ghaznavi 

16 January 2020, Thursday

PTI's coalition conundrum enlarges

25 November 2019, Wednesday

Terrorism declines in Balochistan during 2019

07 November 2019, Thursday

Azadi march and sit-in

04 November 2019, Monday

Pakistan rejects India's new J&K map

29 October 2019, Tuesday 

Karachi signs a MoU with Qingdao