In Islamic countries, women are second class citizens if not much worse. If women step out of line, they are targeted, or killed. In Pakistan there are 1,000 “honor” killings every year.
On July 15, top media star Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her own brother because of images such as the one below, Baloch posted on Facebook.
The brother of slain Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch on Sunday confessed to strangling her to death for “family honor” because she posted “shameful” pictures on Facebook.
Baloch, who had become a social media celebrity in recent months, stirred controversy by posting pictures online taken with a prominent Muslim cleric. She was found dead on Saturday at her family home in the central city of Multan.
Police arrested her brother, Waseem Azeem, and presented him before the media in Multan, where he confessed to killing her. He said people had taunted him over the photos and that he found the social embarrassment unbearable.
“I was determined either to kill myself or kill her,” Azeem told The Associated Press as he was being led away.
He said that even though Baloch was the main breadwinner for the family, he slipped her sedatives the night before and then strangled her in her sleep.
“Money matters, but family honor is more important,” said Azeem.
Nearly 1,000 women are murdered in Pakistan each year for violating conservative norms on love and marriage. The so-called “honor killings” are often carried out by family members.
Such killings are considered murder. But Islamic law in Pakistan allows a murder victim’s family to pardon the killer, which often allows those convicted of honor killings to escape punishment.
This year alone, a schoolteacher, Maria Bibi, was set on fire for refusing to marry a man twice her age. The prime suspect in the case — the father of the man she refused to marry — and the other four are in custody.
A month earlier, police arrested 13 members of a local tribal council who allegedly strangled a girl and set her on fire for helping a friend elope. The charred body of 17-year-old Ambreen Riasat was found in a burned van.
In June, a different 17-year-old girl was burned alive by her own family for eloping with the man she loved quietly. Her mom said she had no regrets.
Qandeel Baloch Video
Tweet Promoting Hot and Bold
— Qandeel Baloch (@QandeelQuebee) July 14, 2016
Word About Pakistan
Wikipedia notes Islam is the State Religion of Pakistan practiced by about 95-98% of the 195,343,000 people of the nation.
The constitution limits the political rights of Pakistan’s non-Muslims, and only Muslims are allowed to become the President or the Prime Minister. Moreover, only Muslims are allowed to serve as judges in the Federal Shariat Court, which has the power to strike down any law deemed un-Islamic, though its judgments can be overruled by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Politically speaking, there are lots of questions about the relationship between the US and Pakistan such as …
Whose Side is Pakistan On?
Please consider this May 2016 article Pakistan-US Relationship: A Double Game?
Earlier this month it was revealed that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) suspected its Islamabad station chief may have been poisoned by Pakistan’s military intelligence service, the ISI, following the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
While the reports have not been confirmed, some say such level of suspicion points to growing distrust between the two countries.
Those within US intelligence argue Pakistan is playing a “double game” by saying it supports the US’ role in the region, while also supporting the Taliban.
Pakistani officials have denied these long-standing allegations, while others believe double games are essential because their interests do not always align with those of the US. Such distrust, however, has left many to wonder about the future of relations between the two countries.
In this week’s Arena, we bring together former heads of the two countries’ intelligence agencies to debate their sensitive relationship.
Michael Flynn, former director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama and author of, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, is in debate with Asad Durrani, the former head of the ISI, and one of the main architects of Pakistan’s Mujahideen policy in Afghanistan.
Editor’s note: The Arena was recorded prior to the US drone strike in Pakistan that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour.
Video of Flynn (Former Director of US Intelligence) and Durrani (Former Head Pakistan Intelligence)
* * *