Several hundred women are murdered each year in Pakistan by family members who believe that their honor is being harmed. Eighteen years old Zeenat Rafiq a young Pakistani girl who was burned to death by her mother and brother for running away and marrying without their permission. Unfortunately, She was tricked into returning home by her mother’s promise to organise a proper wedding ceremony. Zeenat Rafique secretly dated her husband for years before marrying. Zeenat ran away with Hassan Khan just one week before she was killed and married him, angering her Punjabi family who were furious that she had married an ethnic Pashtun without permission. She went back unwillingly to her family home after they promised her that no harm was going to happen to her.
The mother reportedly made no attempt to hide her crime, shouting to neighbors that she had killed her daughter for supposedly dishonoring her family. An autopsy was released saying that Zeenat Rafique, 18, had traces of smoke in her respiratory tract, indicating she was alive when she was set ablaze. Rafique had also been strangled.
Under current laws family members are allowed to forgive the killer, forcing prosecutors to drop even the most watertight case.It often leads to killers walking free in situations where entire families agree that a daughter has brought shame on them.The crimes originate from tribal practices and are often meted out as punishment for behavior viewed as bringing dishonor to a family or village. Experts say such murders often go unreported, but the death of Zeenat was the third to hit the headlines in the past three months.
Zeenat brutal death is not honor killing, it is just a plain murder.