Islamabad: A teenage Pakistani girl diedtoday, two days after she was tortured and set on fire for refusing to marry a divorcee twice her age, the latest case that highlights rampant violence against women in the Muslim nation.
Maria Sadaqat, 19, was attacked on Monday in Upper Dewal village of Murree hill resort in Punjab Province. Abdul Basit, her uncle, told the media outside a hospital here that she was pressed for marriage by the owner of a local private school where she used to teach. She had resigned due to the harassment by the school principal, a divorcee who was twice her age.
“He attacked her with accomplices on Monday. First she was tortured and then doused in petrol and set on fire,” said Basit. She was admitted in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) with 85 per cent burn injuries. In a statement before dying, the victim accused the principal of the school and his four accomplices for attacking her. Police official Muhammad Zeeshan said that one accused has been arrested and the raids being conducted to arrest others.
Ayesha Isani, spokeswoman of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, confirmed the death Maria due to severe burns. Violence against women is common in Pakistan where every year hundreds of women are killed for honour. Nearly 1,100 women were killed in Pakistan last year in so-called honour-killings, the country’s independent Human Rights Commission says. Campaigners say most “honour killings” are not reported in Pakistan. PTI
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