Karo- Kari-“Honor Killing”

Honor Killing as Karo- Kari

Karo-Kari – a “Honor Killing”  form 

Karo-Kari  (he black-she black) is translated by honor killing in English.

“Honor Killing” Karo-Kari is a form  of premeditated  killing.  ( from Pakistan).

Much as, it is  an act of murder.   First of all, a  person is killed for his or her actual or perceived immoral behavior.  Such “immoral behavior” may take the form of alleged marital infidelity.

Also it can be a refusal to submit to an arranged marriage or  demanding a divorce, perceived flirtatious behavior and being raped. Suspicion and accusations alone are many times enough to defile a family’s honor.   Therefore , they are enough to warrant the killing of the woman.

When a man is declared “Karo”, a woman is declared “Kari”

Their fate is to cleanse the dishonor with their lives.

Islam forbids killing. Therefore, Karo-Kari contradicts the teaching of Islam but comes from very ancient tribal traditions of invaders in Baluchistan and Sindh. It surfaced relatively late there three centuries ago.

According to ” Honor Killing”, the killing of a karo man or a kari woman is not  a murder;  because   the killing removes  shame and restores  honor of man, family and community.

Often, people celebrate the murder. The law thus closes her eyes for the exchange of “blood money” for family pardons in certain crimes, preventing police or prosecutors from taking action and saving the perpetrators from justice.

People reported  thousand cases every year . Many more  remain  unreported.

Honour or ghairat means, according to their believes – respect (Izzat).

Therefore, honor is in the eye of society. If you lost it you must regain it as soon as possible . Often , Honor killings are  a cover for murder.

Honor Killing

“Honor Killing”   involves  judgment of the Jirga.  The local Jirga is judiciary in rural areas.

Of course, there can be no honor in killing. So, women and men are protesting against the practice of Karo-Kari and allegedly  its latest victim, Shahida Bibi, killed by her brother.

There is no shroud, no sepulture, and no prayers. There are no markers for the victims of Karo-Kari.So,  they disappear in the anonymity  of the killing fields of community sanctioned violence.

Furthermore, their friends do not forget them.

Thus, Ayman Udas, a rising female vocalist in Peshawar, Pakistan and a beautiful woman in her thirties died. Her own brothers  shot   her at her home. Her divorce, remarriage, and her artistic career disgraced the family’s name.

Her death in 2009 rattled the city’s jittery artistic community, as local musicians and dancers in Peshawar — a city renowned for its vibrant artistic life – faced ever increasing pressure.

On March 7, 2016, the woman’s father and brother allegedly shot a young man and his wife dead in their house in Karachi. Their  sin – they  married against the will of their family.

Also, on April 28, 2016, a teenager, 15 years old Pari Bibi, was the victim of a ” Honor Killing”. Her   immoral behavior:  for answering the door.

“I had repeatedly asked her not to go at the door but she did not listen,” said her brother in his early 20s, while talking to media inside the courtroom. “This infuriated me and I grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed her four to five times.”

Much as, the  father said that he had already lost his daughter and did not want to lose his son as well.

Also, on July 2016, her brother killed Pakistani social media model Qandeel Baloch after taunts of his friends.


Honor Killing – Human Rights Violation

Thus, “Honor killing” is violation of the most basic human right,and , first of all,  the right to life, and other articles in the International Convention on Human Rights (1948).

The presence of tribal laws that treat honor killings negates the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights (1966).

Honor killing is also violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979). Those International covenants’ obligate the state of Pakistan to promote justice irrespective of gender and protect citizens from violence. Murder is against the law in Pakistan as in other countries where it may happen.

What should we do ?

First of all, education and social change are key to stop those practices.

Thus, Non-governmental organizations, such as Women’s Action Forum, Strengthening Pakistan Organization, Aurat Foundation and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, condemn honor killings, educate men and women and leave protests and flowers at the victims’ houses.

Finally, this sort of awareness should be promoted systematically and deliberately at community level.   Discussions and formal talking in religious, social and family gatherings are educative tools.



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