I am writing today with tears in my eyes, but tears come and go. It is the resigned state of my heart that bothers me more. You see, my hope is dwindling. I don’t see a better Pakistan emerging in the near future. All I see is hate, intolerance and injustice — and there is no one brave enough to stand up and say ‘enough’.
Today, a woman named Farzana Iqbal was stoned to death outside the Lahore High Court in a thriving metropolis in Pakistan. Her sin? She married a man she was in love with. Her family was so fervently opposed to the match that they decided in their bigoted minds to kill their own flesh and blood.
Farzana was struck with one brick after another till she felt no more; her brother, father and ex-fiancé protected the so-called ‘honour’ of their family by staining themselves with the blood of this innocent, young woman. She was murdered in front of the very place that was meant to protect her, by the very people who were meant to protect her.
The sad part though is that news such as this does not make the headlines for much longer than a day. The colour of bouquet left in our Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s room (green and white, in case you were wondering) as he attends the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is of far greater importance. There will be no voice that shouts out loud to avenge Farzana’s blood that stains the ground outside the Lahore High Court and there will be no headline news for this wasted life. What’s worse is that there will be no tomorrow for the millions of girls in Pakistan who wish to marry men that their families disapprove of.
Did you know that around 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year by their families in honour killings? That’s 1,000 women who have had their future stolen from them and 1,000 families who believe with startling conviction that their abhorrent act has restored honour in their family. What sort of honour does murder beget, I ask you? What sort of pride is there in killing your child, that too with brick after brick in front of an audience?
One thing is for sure — the brothers, cousins and neighbours of these 1,000 girls who are murdered every year will, no doubt, learn that if they are ever slighted or abashed, all they need to do is pick up some bricks and hurl them at their sisters/cousins till they do not scream anymore. This is the education that is being imparted to our youth, such is the insanity and inanity of the country I was born in.
I have said it many times before and I will say it again, my heart bleeds green, but today, it is clotted with blood, bright red. Blood of Farzana Iqbal and the millions of others murdered in order to restore their family’s honour.
Such dishonourable people. If only they knew just how dishonourable they are.