Life and Living

Taliban Attack in Pakistan

Joy to the world, Peace on earth and good will to men… Sadly this is not a time of joy or peace for many families in Pakistan. The horror that unfolded on Tuesday is a poignant reminder of the Sandy Hooks shooting in December 2014. What happened in Pakistan is even worse. The onslaught was carried out by people seeking revenge and in the aftermath more that 140 people were killed and of that amount about 130 were children.

It is very sad that people are so heartless in taking the lives of others. We cannot have peace by creating wars. There is no justifying bloodshed and mayhem. The world is a big place and there is room enough for us all to live together in peace and harmony.

Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

The world is full of chaos and people with twisted minds.  In some countries the laws that ought to be enforced are ignored and people impose other rules to satisfy themselves.  They have rules which make it acceptable for a man to torture and kill a woman.  On the other hand if a woman refuses to comply to a fixed marriage or wear clothes considered as being inappropriate, it is seen as a sin for which she is punished.
In some cultures women are seen as replaceable commodities.  There is no value placed on the life of the woman.  She is looked upon as being inferior to her male counterpart and is treated accordingly.  Brothers think nothing of killing their sisters to uphold what they call the family honor  The question is, what kind of honor does a murderer bring to any family?  What is honorable about killing your own sister?
Love to these people mean nothing and family honor means everything.  It is a kind of sick twisted mentality.  They do not understand the concept that unity is strength and that a family divided against itself will come to naught.  They are so busy trying to protect their public image that they are blinded to the things that should be more important, that of a brother looking out for his sister and families uniting to protect family members.
The fact that brothers see nothing wrong with killing their sisters highlight the fact that in these societies men in general have very little respect for the lives of women and the laws if there are any is not sufficiently implemented to be a deterrent.
If women in these countries should turn the tables and say enough is enough and start to seek their own justice, I wonder if the laws will then be implemented or will they be able to get away with committing atrocities against men in the same manner that men commit atrocities against women? Interesting thought isn’t it?  What do you thing?

 

Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse Of Women

Honor Killings

 

The horrors of honor killings continues.  Late last year a seventeen year old Pakistan girl miraculously cheated death.  Her attacker was her own brother.  Gul Meena life of misery began at the age of twelve when she was married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather.

She says, “My husband was sixty.  Everyday he would beat me.  I would cry and beg him to stop, but he kept on beating me.”  Her family was not very supportive.  “My family would hit me when I complain,” she said.  “They told me you belong in your husband’s house, it is your life.

After five years of abusive Gul Meena met a young Afghan man and finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband in Pakistan.  In November 2012 she packed some of her things and they made their was across the border to the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan.  She knew what she was doing was dangerous.  Running away from her husband with another man was committing the ultimate sin.   But she was tired of the life she was living.

“I tried to kill myself with poison several times but it didn’t work,” she said.  “I hated my life.  I had to escape.

Days later her older brother tracked them down.  Using an ax he hacked to death Gul Meena’s friend and then struck her fifteen times cutting open her face head and other parts of her body.  Believing that she was dead he escaped back to Pakistan.  The authorities are yet to catch him and his family denies that he tried to kill his sister.

Passersby hearing the commotion discovered Gul lying in a pool of blood in bed and rushed her to the Emergency Department of Nangarhar Regional Medical Centre.  Part of her brain was hanging out of her skull.  Neurosurgeon Zamiruddin Khalid held out little hope that she would survive.  She had lost a lot of blood and her injuries were horrific.  But by some act of God she defeated death and survived.

Even then her troubles were not over; she had received life-saving treatment from doctors and staff at the hospital but she had no one to care for her on the outside.  Gul had been disowned by her family and despite the government and authorities knowing that she was alive and receiving care at the hospital, they wanted nothing to do with her due to the stigma and circumstances surrounding her attack.

She stayed in the hospital for two months thanks to the generosity of doctors who donated money to pay for her medicine.  Finally the organization Women for Afghan women were informed of her situation. They took her in, transporting her back to a shelter in Kabul to give her the love and care she so badly needed.

Gul Meena is one of the thousands of women living in shelters across Afghanistan.  Many of them are victims of attempted honor killings.

Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Bride Burning

Violence against women takes various forms, from Acid Throwing, Female Genital Mutilation, to Torture and Murder.  One of the most heinous of these crimes is Bride Burning.  It is practiced in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  The crime is often staged to appear as an accident or suicide.  The victims are usually newly married women whose parents do not have the money to pay off the husband‘s dowry requirements.  The perpetrators are usually the husband’s family or the husband himself. 
Women in these countries do not get much support from their male counterpart.  The husband’s family will harass, threaten and sometimes kill the bride if her family cannot come up with the money or gifts .  With the new wife out-of-the-way , the husband is free to remarry and get a new dowry from his new bride.  In 2010 there were 8391 reported cases of dowry deaths in India alone.
In Pakistan although divorce is possible, it is claimed that some families decide instead to murder unwanted wives.  In most cases of bride burning the woman is doused with kerosene, the helpless defenseless woman is then set on fire and is burned alive.  The deaths are often reported as accidents.  In many cases the police are told the victim was killed by an exploding stove and there is no prosecution. They opt for burning because the chances of prosecution is less.
Bride burning is a wicked, barbaric act.  It is one of the most gruesome forms of human rights violation.
Stop Abuse of Women

Stop Abuse of Women

Acid Attacks in Pakistan
One of the most horrifying forms of gender-based violence in Pakistan is acid throwing, usually sulphuric acid is used.  The victims are mainly women.  The acid is used with malicious intent to take revenge, disfigure and harm the person.
Every year many women in Pakistan fall victims of brutal acid attacks.  The Acid Survivor Foundation of Pakistan deals with 100 cases a year but estimates the real number of people affected to be far higher.  The attacks are frequently linked to domestic violence or revenge by rejected men.  Some men ego will not allow them to accept rejection  and when their advances are spurned they retaliate by throwing acid at the woman.
The attacks are made possible by the easy availability of cheap acids as cleaning fluid or for use in the cotton industry.  The perpetrator intention is not to kill the victim, but to make them suffer forever.  An acid attack is a terrifying experience.  Acid melts human flesh and even bones.  It causes excruciating pain and terror.  The victims are left mutilated and scarred for the rest of their lives.  Some suffer permanent disabilities such as blindness and some victims have died as a result of their injuries.
In December 2011, the Acid Survivor Foundation-Pakistan, with support from the UK’s Department for International Development, led a campaign, which resulted in the unanimous passage of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011.  The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2011 made acid and burn violence a crime against the state and imposed a fine of one million Pakistani rupees, along with a punishment of minimum seven years to lifetime imprisonment, for the crime of acid throwing.
Despite the new laws, acid throwing continue to take place.
News and Views

A Season of Joy or a Season of Mourning?

This should be a season of goodwill.  Joy to the world, peace to men on earth, but the season is anything but joyful or peaceful.  While the people of Newton Connecticut are still trying to come to terms with the shooting deaths of twenty children and seven adults, in other parts of the world the senseless killings continues.

In Pakistan six health workers on a polio eradication campaign were shot dead.  Polio is an infectious disease which can cause permanent paralysis in a matter of hours.  There is the need for safe and effective vaccines to protect children from the disease which according to the WHO, is currently endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Four female health workers were reportedly shot dead in Karachi on Tuesday.  Two were killed after administering vaccination to children.  Two other women were shot while going from house to house giving vaccination in Peshawar.  Police official Javed Khan said the gunmen opened fire on the women as they left a house where they had vaccinated children.