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Powerful Feudal Lord of Punjab:Disfigures Wife's Face with Acid , Still Remains Free

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    Powerful Feudal Lord of Punjab:Disfigures Wife's Face with Acid , Still Remains Free

    Story published in the English language daily, Dawn on July 3, 01

    Acid victim finally gets papers for treatment

    By Syed Talat Hussain

    LAHORE, July 3: After a long and painful ordeal, a woman hideously disfigured by her powerful husband in an acid attack has been provided with travel documents to proceed abroad for treatment.

    The woman, Fakhra Yunus, can now travel to Italy for plastic surgery after a long campaign by her supporters, led by the writer Tehmina Durrani. The government seems to have relented only after repeated Press conferences by her well-wishers and appeals at the highest level.

    Fakhra incidentally is married to Bilal Khar, the son of former Punjab governor Ghulam Mustafa Khar. The elder Khar also happens to be Ms Durrani's former husband.

    Fakhra's terrible ordeal began in 1998 when she married former Muzaffargarh MPA Bilal Khar. Raised in the redlight Napier Road area of Karachi, Fakhra believed that the marriage would represent the end of her past life and bring her the respectability she craved. By April 2000, however, her dreams had turned into a terrible nightmare. Escaping from the cruelty of her husband, Fakhra returned to Karachi.

    Enraged, Bilal Khar and his henchmen arrived at Fakhra's home and threw a container of acid on her in front of her five-year-old child - from an earlier liaison with the son of a feudal. Fakhra was horribly disfigured in the attack.

    After the incident her aunt Shahida Malik registered an FIR at the Napier Police Station. Despite this, Bilal Khar remained a free man. While Fakhra was under treatment, her family was pressured to withdraw the FIR. Although the family decided not to pursue the case, the FIR remains on the books.

    After being discharged from hospital, Fakhra became a liability for her family. When Bilal Khar appeared at her doorstep soon after, she was 'returned' to her husband despite his immense cruelty and despite the fact that he had thrown acid on her. Over the next five months, Fakhra was kept in a succession of cheap hotels where Bilal continued to physically and sexually abuse her.

    Eventually, Bilal Khar contacted Tehmina Durrani and asked her to see Fakhra and pleaded for her help - perhaps in a rare moment of remorse.

    Ms Durrani called her former husband and Bilal's father, Mustafa Khar, and asked him to intervene. Khar conferred with his brothers and asked his former wife to look after Fakhra while he took Bilal to their ancestral home in Kot Addu.

    Meanwhile, Ms Durrani travelled to Italy and contacted a well-known hospital in Milan where Fakhra could be treated. While Ms Durrani was away, Bilal returned and physically dragged Fakhra away saying that she was his legally wedded wife. He took Fakhra to his father's farm in Kala Khatai where Ms Durrani was unable to contact her.

    While Ms Durrani was pondering over her next move, a servant from Khar's farm arrived in Lahore with a message from Fakhra. The unfortunate woman was convinced that her husband would try to kill her and had asked for help.

    After intervention from Mustafa Khar and Ms Durrani's children, Bilal let Fakhra leave for Lahore on the condition that she would be returned to the farm after consulting a doctor.

    When Ms Durrani learnt of Fakhra's continuing torture at her husband's hand, she decided not to return the girl to Bilal Khar. Bilal was furious and threatened to kidnap Fakhra's son from Karachi. Fortunately, Ms Durrani had arranged to bring the son to Lahore. Bilal's ire was then directed at Ms Durrani and her family. He threatened them with acid attacks, saying that he would shoot Ms Durrani in the knees so that she would have to crawl all her life.

    Many people urged her to return Fakhra to her husband since after all she is his wife. They also tried to convince her that her and her children's safety is not worth the cause she has taken up. But Ms Durrani decided to stand firm, even though it turned her own life into a living hell. After trying to arrange for travel documents and an ID card for Fakhra without much success, Ms Durrani decided to contact the government for help.

    The response was disappointing. The interior ministry dragged its feet and put up bureaucratic hurdles in the way. One argument was that because Fakhra's parentage was doubtful, what would the officials write in the passport column that contains the father's name. This could not have happened at a worse time because each passing day of delay meant a deterioration in her physical condition and reduced chances of proper treatment.

    After frantic efforts, the authorities allowed Fakhra to be treated at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad. Ms Durrani, however, alleges that neither security nor proper treatment was provided there.

    After intense lobbying and mounting public pressure, the government agreed to issue travel documents to Fakhra. She is now free to travel to Italy and try to put together the pieces of her shattered life again. Bilal Khar, meanwhile, remains a free man. Although the government has said it is taking action on the initial police complaint, Fakhra's supporters believe that nothing of the sort is being done.

    There are many lessons to be learnt from this sordid affair. There are thousands of women like Fakhra all over Pakistan who have been tormented and tortured by their husbands. Unfortunately, society as well as the state tend to view domestic violence as a strictly personal matter between husband and wife. Fakhra is among the few lucky ones whose plight has caught the public eye, mainly because high profiled people have championed her cause.

    As Hina Jilani, the secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, is quick to point out: "The message is clear: A person guilty of scarring a woman's face with acid can get away without punishment." This is hardly the sort of message any government would want to send out to other perpetrators of similar offences against women

    °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`° ¤ø,¸°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ ºÂ°`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º° ºÂ¤Ã¸



    A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

    #2
    Why don't someone shoot the SOB?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Abdali:
      Why don't someone shoot the SOB?
      I have the same feelings....A man never does a thing like this.....HOW HIS MANHOOD ALLOWED HIM TO DO SUCH AN ACT,..?

      Divorce or separation was the solution....Not this coward act.
      °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`° ¤ø,¸°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ ºÂ°`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º° ºÂ¤Ã¸



      A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

      Comment


        #4
        My God, what an awful thing to happen to anyone. I seriously doubt whether the govt. would ever have provided the necessary travel documents to Fakhra had there not been the ongoing lobbying and public pressure. One wonders how many more Pakistani women are forced to suffer in silence.

        Many many thanks for posting this article, Tariq.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Nadia_H:
          My God, what an awful thing to happen to anyone. I seriously doubt whether the govt. would ever have provided the necessary travel documents to Fakhra had there not been the ongoing lobbying and public pressure. One wonders how many more Pakistani women are forced to suffer in silence.

          Many many thanks for posting this article, Tariq.
          Nadia_H,
          Its happening in Pakistan,...I feel bad for that gal.Her husband must be made an example before everyone,...BUT nothing is happening,...Womens suffer,..no one pays attention.

          >
          >
          Also visit these sites,..you will be surprised,...
          > http://www.dawn.com/2001/06/26/letted.htm#8
          > http://www.dawn.com/2001/06/29/letted.htm#13
          >
          PLEASE GOTO THESE SITES AND SEE,..WHATS HAPPENING,......VERY SAD,...




          [This message has been edited by TARIQ786USA (edited July 22, 2001).]
          °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`° ¤ø,¸°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ ºÂ°`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º° ºÂ¤Ã¸



          A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

          Comment


            #6
            As Hina Jilani, the secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, is quick to point out: "The message is clear: A person guilty of scarring a woman's face with acid can get away without punishment." This is hardly the sort of message any government would want to send out to other perpetrators of similar offences against women
            This is the main cause of the problem, if we let one person get away with the crime it will send out wrong message to society. I personally think the fight between husband-wife should remain confined within four walls if possible, but when violence and cruelty of this type happen, I think state and police should intervene and take appropriate action against men.


            ------------------
            "Away from Eyes......Close to Heart"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Insaaniat:
              This is the main cause of the problem, if we let one person get away with the crime it will send out wrong message to society. I personally think the fight between husband-wife should remain confined within four walls if possible, but when violence and cruelty of this type happen, I think state and police should intervene and take appropriate action against men.


              I know buddy,..I agree with you,..We must set an example before our citizens,...But unfortunatley,..Justice is only for poor people,..Rich can get away with it. Very Sad.

              °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`° ¤ø,¸°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ ºÂ°`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º° ºÂ¤Ã¸



              A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

              Comment


                #8
                The longer it takes to establish the islamic state the more women will be burnt like this the more men will get away with this sick crime. We need a system whose rulers only fear Allah(swt) and not the land lords.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by scarface:
                  The longer it takes to establish the islamic state the more women will be burnt like this the more men will get away with this sick crime. We need a system whose rulers only fear Allah(swt) and not the land lords.
                  scarface,
                  I agree,..but my question is,..how we can find out or know,..which leader fear Allah.If there is any way to find out,..please help us understand.I shall appreciate.

                  °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`° ¤ø,¸°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ ºÂ°`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º °`°º¤ø,¸,¸¸,ø¤º° ºÂ¤Ã¸



                  A Faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Like father, like son eh??
                    It's "My Feudal Lord" all over again just w/
                    different charachters, and t/ cycle of violence continues.

                    Shame on Khar Sr. on raising such an s.o.b. and more shame on t/ Pakistani authorities for not issuing Fakhra a passport on such pretences i.e "not sure who your father is so we can't issue you a passport and let you rot!" Just admit you're scared by a "keera" called Khar.

                    Just immagine t/ hundreds of thousands of other not so popular cases of physical/sexual abuse against women.

                    [This message has been edited by FunkyDesi (edited July 23, 2001).]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      its very very sad to know that feudalism still exits in pakistan .it was abolished long back in india and the sooner its abolished in pakistan the better

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Kabir, feudalsim has been t/ root of most eveils in Pakistan. That's how Benazir, Nawaz Sharif, major land owners, are able to control thr not so educated populace. That's one main difference b/w India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, t/ truly sincere leaders of Pakistan did not live long enough to abolish this evil and it is eating away Pakistan. Rich keep getting richer and t/ poor worse than before.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Very sad...very hard to read. Women's education, equal rights, good law and order situation is the only solution.

                          The terrible part of the whole saga is that the law and order agencies meant to protect the citizens have colluded with the prepetuator against the victim...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            How come such cowards have so powerful positions in Pakistan?

                            ------------------
                            ~Survival of the smartest~

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Bro, you gave me another example to beleive that Pakistan is not an Islamic State, its just inhabitated by Muslims.

                              ------------------
                              We oughta be Changez like, don't we?

                              Comment

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