Thursday, 24 December 2009


It does not improve Pakistan`s reputation for a judge in the historic city of Lahore to order the nose and ears chopped of two men who committed the same act on a woman who refused to marry one of them. But I have to say bravo!

The status of rural women remains low throughout Pakistan, emphatically in the North West Frontier Province, but also in Baluchistan and Sindh. And the saying ` a woman`s place belongs in the home` might even have been invented on the Frontier, the tribal homeland of some 10 million Pathans.

The 17th century Pathan warrior poet, Kushal Khan Khattak, summarises the local male attitude in the following lines:

`…Soft and beautiful on the outside
They are venomous serpents within.
Speak of them no more Kushal Khan;
It would be better if they had never been.`

The treatment of women in the NWFP and in the lawless Tribal Areas, is personified by the pseudo-religious concept of the burqa, the all-concealing garment women are forced to wear.

Here a woman is simply a possession like a table or a truck. She is totally controlled by her husband, and if he forbids her to go outside the family compound, that is her lot. A woman aged 42, whom I met in Chitral District, told me she had never been outside her garden.

Honour killings remain common in the NWFP and there was the recent horrific tribal punishment of gang raping for a woman accused of committing adultery. Less well known is the traffic in Sindhi girls, kidnapped and sent to a life of sexual slavery and domestic drudgery in villages, never to be heard of again.

Misogyny exists in most Muslim countries, but nowhere more so than in Pakistan and if the courts order a few more noses and ears to be chopped off male criminals, then so be it.

c.Christine Osborne
Images: Tim Gurney


  1. I say bravo too. More snoutectomies! And not only in Pakistan.

  2. Very nice Intha fisherman photo!

  3. I will believe the `snoutectomies` when we learn they were done. And if so, no doubt it will be under an anaesthetic. Unlike the poor soul who had her nose and ears just sliced off by these bastards.

  4. The International Pakistan: Our Correspondent26 December 2009 at 06:27

    An anti-terrorism court on Monday awarded Islamic punishment of a nose for nose and an ear for ear to two convicts who had cut nose and ears of a girl over her refusal to marry one of them. The court under other sections also sentenced life imprisonment to both the convicts and imposed on them Rs300,000 fine each, besides, ordering them to pay Rs 700,000 compensation to the victim.Sher Muhammad and Amanat had cut ears and nose of Fazeelat Bibi in the Riawind City police limits after her family refused to marry her off to Sher Muhammad. The convicts had abducted Fazeelat when she was on her way home from a brick kiln. Police had registered a case on the complaint of the victimís family. The Lahore High Court took a sou motu notice of the incident and directed the ATC to decide the case within one month.


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