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The woman ended up being scarred for life

The disfigurement of Ayesha Baloch of Multan, whose husband slit her upper lip and part of her nose for bringing the family's name allegedly into disrepute, is a most gruesome act and a stark reminder of the warped sense of 'honour' that permeates many segments of Pakistani society. For the perceived insult that she brought to her family, the woman ended up being scarred for life. And this happened because of the patriarchal and misogynist mindset that continues to hold a large section of the population of this country in its evil grip. Blatantly discriminatory laws like the Hudood ordinances that find legal sanction here foster the kind of environment where victims of serious crimes like sexual assault end up having to prove the charges against the attacker or else risk going to prison.

The presence of other laws on the statute books such as the Qisas and Diyat ordinance, also misused in many cases to let off those who may have committed a murder, further compounds the situation and makes life hellish for many women. The government, parliament and civil society in general all need to stand up and be counted on this matter. They need to realize that such abhorrent acts in the twenty-first century do no one any good. In this particular case, Ms Baloch's husband must be arrested and made to pay for what he has done.