The country ranks amongst the highest for cases of honour-based murders.
A man identified as Shakil Akhtar murdered four women of his family in the name of honour in Sheikhupura, Pakistan.
The incident took place in the Bismillah Colony area of Shahkot Police Station, on Saturday, January 30, 2021.
The man had a heated argument with the four women, including his own old mother who tried to resonate with him.
The argument’s motive is said to be Akhtar’s suspicion about the character of his wife, daughter, and sister-in-law, which ended up with the women’s death.
In the middle of the argument, he got infuriated and slaughtered his mother Kaneez Fatima, wife Shabana, daughter Faiza and sister-in-law Zonara.
Authorities reached the crime scene and started further investigation.
The district police officer also directed the Shahkot City police to arrest the killer as soon as possible. The bodies are now under police custody for autopsy.
According to the police, Shakil killed the women with a sharp-edged weapon and fled.
The accused is a former FC employee and is currently employed in a private factory.
Honour killings in Pakistan are still rampant today, as the country ranks amongst the highest for cases of honour-based murders.
According to a police study in Pakistan, up to 769 people, of which 510 are females, were victims of so-called honour killings in the province of Sindh between 2014 and 2019.
649 cases had charge sheets which were presented by police. However, 19 of the accused in the cases were given sentences by the courts.
In 136 of the cases, the accused were acquitted and the number of cases pending trial still is 494.
Hence, only 2% of the cases were convictions against 20.9% who were acquitted.
Media reports have also stated that honour crimes mainly occur in South Asian, Middle Eastern and North African communities where a woman’s behaviour can be seen as key to preserving a family’s honour.
An estimated 5,000 murders in the name of honour happen every year around the world.
However, it is believed that the number could be greater as many cases go unreported.
Perpetrators of these crimes, typically see honour killings to protect family reputation, follow tradition, or adhere to wrongly interpreted religious demands.
According to the WHO, these murders usually involve a girl or woman being killed by a family member to restore the honour. Some instances of dishonour are adultery, sexual intercourse, a pregnancy outside marriage or being raped.
Activists struggled for years, both at national and international level, to raise awareness of the practice of honour crime and the legal impunity it enjoyed across the country. However, honour crimes continue unabated, especially in tribal areas.
Authorities find it hard to investigate such killings as both aggrieved and accused parties generally belong to the same family or tribe.