Urgent Interventions

Pakistan: Killing in the Name of Honour of 13 year old girl

Case PAK 080404.VAW.CC
Violence against women / Child Concern / Killing in the name of Honour

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Pakistan.

Brief description of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Asian Human Rights Commission, a member of the OMCT network, of the killing in the name of honour of a 13-year-old girl named Koonjan.

According to the information received, Koonjan was killed by her husband, Ahmedan Bangwar and four other in-laws in Kato Bangwar Village, Kandh Kot Town, Jaqcobabd District, Sindh Province, on 4 March 2004. It has been reported that Ahmedan Bangwar has killed his wife in the name of honour.

According to the information received, on 4 March 2004, the father of victim, Todo Bahilkani went to meet his daughter. On the way to her village, he met his two cousins named Bilawal and Rasool Bux and they went to his daughter's house together. After they had arrived, they were talking to Koonjan.

At around 8:30 pm, Ahmadan Bangwar, along with his father Todo Bangwar, his uncle Mehar Bangwar (both are sons of Mughul), his brother Khalid Bangwar and Rahmatullah Bangwar (son of Saamano) arrived at the house with guns in their hands. Ahmedan dragged Koonjan to the ground and accused her of having sexual relationship with a person named Tahir Bahilkani. After he accused her of adultery, Ahmadan and his family members allegedly shot Koonjan to death. To hide their crime, they allegedly took her body in a bull-cart and left the place to conceal it. The victim's father and his two cousins reportedly saw everything but they could not do anything because they had no weapons while the offender were all armed.

According to the information received, the victim's father filed a complaint with the Kandh Kot Town Police Officer (TPO), Mr. Masroor Jatoi on 6 March 2004. The TPO ordered the Karampur Police Station to investigate the matter (Case No. 15/04 Sections 302-210 Pakistan Penal Code). The Karampur Police raided the houses of the alleged but they had already fled from their houses

On 31 March and 1 April 2004, the Sub-divisional Police Officer of Investigation Kandh Kot, Mr. Gul Hassan Khan was contacted and he said that the body of the victim has not yet been found and that the alleged perpetrators had not been arrested.

According to the victim's father, he arranged Koonjan’s marriage to Ahmedan two years ago and she lived with her husband with no children. He claims that his daughter Koonjan was killed under the fake allegation of adultery.

Crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honour are gender-specific forms of violence that are either approved or supported by States in many parts of the world. OMCT is gravely concerned by the many reports it has received in the past months on women in Pakistan who are killed by their family members as they are suspected of having committed adultery (see also OMCT’s urgent appeals of this year: PAK 120204 VAW and 230304 VAW). According to the information received, male relatives who commit such murders in Pakistan are rarely prosecuted in traditional communities. It appears that behaviour of women which is seen as compromising “family honour” is considered a valid reason to commit murder.

The information also indicates that cases of crimes committed in the name of honour are generally ruled by the landlords (Jirga-tribal court) in the Sindh Province rather than by the courts of law. The victim's families are generally not pursuing the cases at the courts of law due to the costly and lengthy process of getting justice through the government’s judicial system while the traditional justice system (Jirga-tribal court) arrives at a settlement within a few days. This traditional system has been practiced for a long time and it is commonly accepted. However, most of the cases under the tribal court are disposed compoundable under the Ordinance of Qisas and Dayat, whereby the offender can escape punishment by providing compensation to the victim's family.

OMCT firmly condemns these killings in the name of honour and calls upon the government of Pakistan to investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators with due diligence. OMCT recalls that the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, in article 4(c), states that States should "exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private persons."

OMCT also expresses concern about the young age of the girl when she entered into marriage. The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, of Pakistan discriminates againt women as it provides that the legal age of marriage for boys is 18 and 16 for girls. Under these ages, marriage is punishable with a fine and imprisonment but the law does not invalidate the marriage. In Pakistan it is reportedly common practice that a male parent or guardian contracts a girl child younger than 16 into marriage without her consent.

Action requested

Please write to the authorities in Pakistan urging them to:

i. order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of this killing, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
ii. ensure that the prohibition of killings in the name of honour is strictly respected that due diligence is exercised in the prevention and investigation of crimes committed in the name of honour and the punishment of the perpetrators;
iii. review its legislation so that the minimum age of marriage for women is 18 years as it is for men and to ensure that the legal age limit for marriage is strictly enforced;
iv. guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


President, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan, Fax: + 92 51 9224768 / 9224836 , E-mail:

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mian Khursheed Mahmud Kasuri, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Constitution Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan, Fax: +92 51 920 2518/922 4205/4206, E-mail:

Minister for the Interior, Mr. Moinuddin Haider, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Ministry of Interior, Block R, Federal Secretariat, Islamabad, Pakistan, Fax: +92 51 9202624, E-mail:,

Zaman Khan, Complaint Cell, National Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Aiwan-i-Jahmoor, 107-Tipu Block, New Garden Town, Lahore-54600, PAKISTAN, Fax: +92 42 588-3582, E-mail: zaman@hrcp-web

Syed Sultan Shah, Joint Secretary for Law, Justice and Human Rights, Fax: + 92 51 9203119

Hon. Mr. Ishrat-ul-Ibad Khan, Governor Govt. of Sindh, Governor House Karachi, Tel: +92 21 9201201-3, E-mail:

Mr. Sayed Kamal Shah, Provincial Police Officer, Sindh Police, Central Police Office Karachi, Tel: +92 21 9212626-7, Fax: +92 21 9212051

Mr. Rahoo Khan Brohi, Regional Police Officer, Sukkur Region, Airport Road Sukkur, Tel: +92 71 30547, 30248, Fax: +92 71 31824

Ambassadeur Umer Shaukat, Rue de Moillebeau 56 (4ème) - CP 434, CH-1211, Genève 19, Suisse, E-mail:, Fax: +41 22 734 80 85

Please also write to the embassies of Pakistan in your respective country.

Geneva, April 8, 2004

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.