Intolerance in KP

Another singer killed by family

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Yet another Pashto artist was killed by her brother on Friday in Banr area – a famous center for musicians in Swat district. According to media reports, the singer was living with her mother in Swat as their parents had divorced some 10 years back. The brother, named Qasim, who has allegedly killed the singer, was living with his father in Faisalabad, some 200 miles south of where the incident took place. On the Friday night, as Sana returned after a show, after a brief brawl, Qasim injured her with knife and later she succumbed to her injuries.

A number of women singers have been killed by their relatives in the recent past. In May singer Meena was killed in Swat by her husband. Ghazala Javed was killed by her husband. Ayman Udas, another artiste, was allegedly killed by her brothers over claims of dishonouring the family. Singer Rabia Tabasum was poisoned. An18-year-old Pashto singer Karishma Shahzadi was killed in Charsadda. Another 18-year-old actor Bushra suffered burns on her face when acid was thrown on her in Nowshera. In February this year, actor Sumbal was shot dead in Mardan. In June, Pashto artiste Gulnaz was shot in Peshawar. In August 2018, another Pashto singer Risham Khan was murdered by her husband in Nowshera.

Transgenders involved in the profession are not safe either in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  A 19-year-old transgender person has been murdered by her own father in Nowshera, according to police. Her father reportedly was upset at her for choosing to live as a transgender. This is not a one-off incident. A report on violence against the community reveals that from 2015 to date, at least 63 transgender persons have been killed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

This is not to say that other parts of the country are totally immune to such incidents. Social media starlet Qandeel Baloch’s cold-blooded murder by her own brother in Multan is a reminder that such perverse mindset is present everywhere. It is just that the KP province has seen these incidents with regularity and there are certain hotspots in the province that need attention. Moreover the reasons behind such murders are pretty much similar. – honour and money (read greed).