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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 19:18 GMT
Pakistan 'honour killings' arrests
By Paul Anderson
BBC correspondent in Islamabad

A mother whose daughter committed suicide after being raped is comforted
Police in Pakistan have been accused of failing women

News of two more honour killings has surfaced in Pakistan, a day after President Musharraf called for an end to the practice in which women are killed to defend family or tribal honour.

The killings were of women in rural areas who had eloped with a lover or were suspected of having affairs.

The Pakistani police who disclosed the latest murders said they had caught all suspects involved.

Honour killings are illegal under Pakistani law, but most go unpunished.

The question is whether the full force of the law will be brought to bear on those arrested or whether, like most suspects, they will escape justice.


In one of the latest two cases of honour killings, the police said a villager in central Pakistan shot dead his 21-year-old sister and her husband for marrying without the consent of the woman's family.

Her parents had wanted an arranged marriage.

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf
President Musharraf has urged Pakistanis to show civilised behaviour
In another incident a man reportedly axed to death his 17-year-old sister because he believed she was having an affair.

The police say charges will be filed against all suspects.

That is in line with the wishes of President Musharraf, who on Tuesday launched his latest tirade against what he called the "curse" of honour killings.

Human rights organisations in Pakistan say hundreds of women are killed each year by men seeking to restore family or tribal honour after incidents of adultery, elopement or sex before marriage.

President Musharraf said anyone found guilty of honour killings should be dealt with harshly.

He is trying to fashion Pakistan into a modern, moderate and tolerant nation and he believes honour killings are an obstacle to that.

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