A woman in Pakistan and some of her children were treated for acid burns in May after the woman was attacked by her husband, who was convinced she was having an affair and was trying to protect his “honor.”
From the Express Tribune:
Irshad, son of Mushtaq, was arrested by the Shah Faisal police with the help of a non-governmental organisation, Madadgaar, after an FIR (363/2010) was lodged against him.
Sultana, 35, married Irshad out of her own will. After their marriage, Irshad started suspecting her of having an affair and remained suspicious even after they had five children.
On May 27 this year, he threw acid on her face while she was sleeping. She received severe burns and was rushed to the Burns Centre at Civil Hospital, Karachi, by her in-laws, who threatened to harm her children if she told anyone who the culprit was.
During the acid attack, Sultana’s younger children were also injured.
On June 18, Madadgaar, the helpline for women and children, made a routine visit to the Burns Centre, where Sultana narrated her ordeal to their field officer, Bushra Syed.
The incident might have gone both unreported and unpunished if not for the Madagaar, as the woman was being threatened both by her husband and her family not to report the attack.
Acid attacks have been used previously as a weapon in Pakistan, as a way to instill fear in women. The Express Tribune reports two attacks on five girls in April, and there appears to be little interest in either apprehending and punishing attackers or making sure that such things stop.
Balochistan Assembly member from the Kalat district, Rubina Irfan, expressed her dissatisfaction with the government’s efforts in dealing with the crimes, saying that not a single person was arrested in the past month and neither was a committee constituted to probe the matter. “I brought an adjournment motion regarding this crucial issue but instead of approving it for debate, the speaker disposed of the motion which shows the non-seriousness of the government in addressing women-related issues,” she said. Strongly criticising the law enforcement agencies, Irfan said it is astonishing that they have failed to trace culprits in towns so small that all the residents know each other.
Fear and intimidation is the mode of control over woman in the region, and until both politicians and law enforcement begin to punish those in the region who spread terror, women will never be able to walk in safety.