Honour Killing in Pakistan

13 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2014

Date Written: March 19, 2014


Honour killing means killing a family or clan member in the name of family pride or protecting one's family’s honour. It usually consists of murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family. Hundreds of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family honour. A man can kill a woman, claiming that she brought dishonor to the family; in Pakistan the term Karo-Kari has been traditionally employed as a label for the crime of double-homicide. A man, or a boy, and a woman, or a girl, are both killed usually by her husband, father or brother in what is characterized as a fit of rage when the killer sees or in many case just hear(s) or blame(s) both victims actively engaged in sexual activity. In this Article, I suggest that the legislatures amend the criminal law, that criminal and all relevant laws be strictly executed, that Jirgas and Punchayats verdicts should be frozen and be declared void as against the law and fundamental rights. And the practice of settling disputes by gifting girls as compensation and penance should be stopped with iron hands. Proper training of police officials is needed and finally, the mindset of the civil society must be changed so that women are not seen as commodities that can be traded as currency to pay for the sins of men in exchange of money, compensation or penance for crimes and settling of disputes, in order to prohibit such heinous crime.

Keywords: Karo-Kari, Vani and Swara Customs in Pakistan, Women Rights Protected in the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973

Suggested Citation

Malik, Dr. Amar, Honour Killing in Pakistan (March 19, 2014). American Journal of Criminal Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2411680 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2411680

Dr. Amar Malik (Contact Author)

University of Karachi ( email )

University Road
Karachi, PA Sindh 75270
03333502296 (Phone)

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