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Pakistan: Celebrity's Murder Stirs Debate on Women's Rights

A series of "honour killings" in the recent past has again raised serious speculations over women rights in Pakistan. Few days back a social media celebrity was murdered by his brother in the name of "honour". Qandeel Baloch was a social media celebrity turned model who got fame from a reality show. Within few years there were millions of followers on her facebook and instagram accounts. Her bold approach and western styled dressing had brought both fame and criticism for her. In a religious dominant country like Pakistan such acts by any female are considered highly obscene.

Police has arrested the murderer and after investigations it was revealed that he killed her to save honor of his family. But her father on the other hand had different version. In a press conference her father reiterated his resolve to pursue the case of murder against his own son. He further added that Qandeel was just like his son. She was bearing all the expenditures of his family. The grieved father condemned the act of his son.

This murder has triggered a serious debate in Pakistan over women rights violations. Recent serious of murders in this respect has already caused hue and cry in the masses. Murder of Qandeel gave a new life to the movement and members of civil society launched a strong protest against honor killings. This murder has even triggered a debate among the lawmakers of the country.  A proposal is under discussion to suggest severe punishment for those who commit murder in the name of honor.

Pakistan in the past has faced severe international and human rights organizations reaction over violation of women rights. This murder has further stressed the need of a strong legislation to curb this tendency. Cases of acid throwing and burning women to death are commonly observed in Pakistan. Recent movement and struggle of civil society and international human rights organizations has forced the government of Pakistan to take solid steps in this regard. A positive step in this regard was taken by the government when it announced that state will act as representative in this murder case, so that the accused couldn’t be granted bail on the request of family members.


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