You ViewsVOLUME 19 ISSUE # 13

Judicial murder of dignity

The court hearing and the verdict in the Iddat case clearly crossed the lines that are not supposed to be crossed.

The verdict in the infamous trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is often referred to as a case of judicial murder, and rightly so. The recent verdict in iddat case will be remembered in history as the judicial murder of dignity, privacy and honour of women in Pakistan. Will there ever be an end to such cases in Pakistan?

Simultaneously, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as well as leading lawyers of repute have not shied away from warning that the verdict had troubling implications for people’s right to privacy, particularly women’s right to dignity during the recent court proceedings. Surprisingly, most women’s right organisations across the country took a long time before coming up with their reaction to the matter. There are many that are still keeping their silence. One can only hope that all sane members of society, including rights activists, legal minds and religious scholars, will come forward and forcefully condemn the very verdict and let the people of Pakistan and the world know beyond doubt that matters related to a women’s privacy represent a line that should not be crossed.

As the verdict has unfolded, in the educated and enlightened world around us, there is hardly a point in preferring to continue living in the dark ages when women had no rights. Unfortunately, with no end in sight to honour killings in the country, let us not decimate women’s honour in legal battles. If we continue with such trends, we will be nothing but the laughing stock of the world at large. Is that a price we are willing to pay?

Aamir Aqil