Five women beaten and buried alive in Pakistan 'honour killing'

Pakistan ordered an inquiry yesterday into how five women were buried alive in an "honour killing". Three suspects were arrested as condemnation of the outrage spread across the country.

The atrocity took place six weeks ago in a remote region of the vast and restive province of Baluchistan. Three teenage girls named as Hameeda, Raheema and Fauzia, attempted to marry men of their own choosing, and were then reportedly kidnapped by armed local tribesmen along with two older women.

According to human rights groups and local reports, the five women were driven away to a desert area by men belonging to the Umrani tribe. The three teenage girls were hauled out, beaten and shot. Injured, but still alive, they were thrown into a ditch. When the two older women, aged 45 and 38, protested at what was happening, they were subjected to the same treatment. "All five women were connected," said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

The killings have been defended by politicians from Baluchistan. Reacting to a female colleague's attempt to raise the issue in parliament, Israrullah Zehri said such acts were part of a "centuries-old tradition" and he would "continue to defend them".

Questions have been raised about the involvement of local politicians in the incident. The Asian Human Rights Commission said that the brother of a provincial minister was "allegedly" among the tribesmen. "There is a political connection, but it is not certain what," added Mr Hasan of Human Rights Watch.

Iqbal Haider of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission said the two senators should be removed from parliament. "They are as obscurantist as the Taliban ... these men have violated the constitution," he said.

Mr Haider added that the government had been slow to react. "I referred this matter to the federal government on 16 August. They have only reacted now. Why did it take so long for there to be an arrest? Where was the condemnation for so long? Why has there been no post-mortem yet?"

Details of the incident have only emerged over recent days after the local media began to draw attention to human rights groups' reports.

Yesterday, as women's rights protesters gathered outside parliament and government buildings in the major cities of Lahore and Karachi, the Sindh provincial assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning the killings as "a heinous crime against humanity".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory