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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 12:14 GMT
Eye-for-eye in Pakistan acid case
Map of Pakistan
A court in Pakistan has sentenced a man to be blinded by acid after he carried out a similar attack on his fiancée.

The court in the town of Bahawalpur, Punjab province, sentenced Mohammad Sajid under the Islamic Qisas law that matches crime and punishment.

Sajid blinded and mutilated his fiancee after her parents called off the couple's engagement.

Rights groups have criticised the sentence and observers say it is unlikely to be carried out.

The judge passed the sentence in an anti-terrorism court using a law enforced in 1979 during the rule of the dictator General Zia ul-Haq.

"Acid drops will be thrown into his eyes in line with the Islamic laws," Mohammad Shahid, a court official told the Reuters news agency.

The law allows for a like-for-like punishment unless clemency is agreed by the victim's family.

Higher courts

Sajid had admitted the attack, which he carried out in revenge for his fiancee's family breaking their promise.

Rights activists condemned the ruling.

"It is not a punishment but revenge," said Rashid Rehman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Acid attacks on women are not unusual in Pakistan, particularly in feudal and tribal areas.

Rights activists say more than 70 incidents have been reported in Punjab this year.

The sentence can be appealed and Qisas rulings are often altered by higher courts.

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