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Headline: Pakistani women protest over Baloch murder

Subhed: Around 6,500 killed each year in so-called ‘honour’ killings, activists claim

Photo 1: Qandeel Baloch’s daring foray into social media cost her life.

Photo 2: Protestor holds up sign.

By Zubair Qureshi
Pakistan Observer

Islamabad: Women of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) and members of civil society this week staged a protest demonstration outside the National Press Club condemning social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch’s murder and called for exemplary punishment to her killer(s).

Qandeel’s blood they said would not go in vain and would pave the way for revolution. Tooba Syed, a member of the AWP, said a woman’s life and reputation are always at stake and they are sacrificed in the name of honour and property disputes.

Madeeha Tahir, another young member of the AWP, said social media was bombarded with comments by men on the murder of women. This is high time they should withdraw one step and let women speak on this gory incident, she said.

Asmat Shah Jahan, a senior member of the party, said the state, society and media should equally be held responsible for Qandeel Baloch’s murder. She also called for reforming the anti-honour-killing law. She also urged women to actively participate in progressive politics of Pakistan.

Human rights activist and a proponent of women rights Tahira Abdullah said the Women Protection Bill presented by Shehla Zia in 2004 was diluted by the parliament of that time. She called for implementation and adoption of the original bill purged of all the loopholes.

About the number of deaths each year in Pakistan in the name of honour, she said officially the number of deaths of women in the name of honour (around 1,200) is far less than the real figure. The real figures are around 6,500, she said.

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