Crime and Punishment

So, another village council in Pakistan is having some fun with the local female population.

A village council in Pakistan has decreed that five young women should be abducted, raped or killed for refusing to honour childhood “marriages”.

Really…what can these people be like? I can’t entirely get my head around it. What can men be like who solemnly get together and decide that five young women should be abducted, raped or killed? Why don’t they embarrass themselves? Why don’t they sicken themselves and each other? I can understand how people can do horrible things in a temper – but this calm cold-blooded judicial-seeming official-like ‘decreeing’ business – this monstrous business of punishing other people – and weaker, more defenseless other people at that – for something done by different people entirely – it’s so brutal and disgusting and contemptible and just plain chickenshit one wonders how they can stand themselves. I mean, what’s the deal? A man does something, but they don’t punish him, because what? he’s a man and he might slap them, so they punish various women who have nothing to do with it instead, because the women won’t slap them, because they know they would immediately be torn into shreds and fed to the dogs?

The women, who are cousins, were married in absentia by a mullah in their Punjabi village to illiterate sons of their family’s enemies in 1996, when they were aged from six to 13. The marriages were part of a compensation agreement ordered by the village council and reached at gunpoint after the father of one of the girls shot dead a family rival. The rival families have now called in their “debt”, demanding the marriages to the village men [be] fulfilled.

Yes, well, that’s fair.

Amna Niazi, the eldest of the five at 22, is taking a degree in English literature, while both her sisters want to attend university. Their fathers are supporting them and have refused to hand them over…The women have said they will commit suicide if their fathers obey the council. Speaking at their home in Sultanwala, a remote cotton and sugar-cane growing village, Amna said: “It is a great injustice that should be ended. Why should we pay for a crime committed by someone else? We will commit suicide if it happens. We would be treated like animals by them. Our misery would never end as this is just another way of using us as tools in the feud.”

You know – sometimes I get a feeling that a lot of men in Pakistan don’t much like women.

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