A man in Badin surrendered himself to police on Wednesday after killing his 38-year-old wife for 'honour' by repeatedly hitting her with an axe.

The suspect told police that he suspected that the victim — who was the mother of eight children, including three differently-abled daughters — had illicit relations with another man who lived in the same area.

Also read: In honour’s name

Eyewitnesses said that after being attacked, the woman ran out on the street crying for help but the suspect continued to attack her, eventually killing her.

The incident was confirmed by Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Salim Khoso of Badin police station, who said that the body had been sent to Indus Hospital for post-mortem examination. A first information report (FIR) is yet be to registered.

In a separate incident, a man killed his 25-year-old wife and a mother of one, along with another man for the sake of "honour" in the Dilawar Marfani village of Shikarpur.

The Station House Officer of Dilawar Marfani police station Shahzado Dasti told Dawn.com that the accused suspected that his wife had an extra-marital affair with his second victim, who hailed from Balochistan and worked as a peasant in the village.

The bodies of the victims were returned to their families after a post-mortem examination was conducted at Garhi Yasin Taluka Hospital.

No FIR has been registered yet.

Honour killings continue despite new law

Scores of women in Pakistan are still being murdered by relatives for bringing shame on their family, a year since new laws came into force aimed at stemming the flow of 'honour killings'.

In 2016, the joint sitting of both houses of parliament finally passed two key pro-women bills that had been pending assent for a long time.

The move at that time was cautiously hailed by women's rights activists. More than a year on, however, lawyers and activists say honour killings are still occurring at an alarming pace. One of the reasons of the continuation of such incidents is that though the legislation mandates life imprisonment for honour killings, whether a murder can be defined as a crime of honour is left to the judge's discretion.

That means the culprits can simply claim another motive and still be pardoned, according to Dr Farzana Bari, a widely respected activist and head of the Gender Studies Department at Islamabad's Quaid-i-Azam University.

At least 280 such murders were recorded by the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan from October 2016 to June of 2017 ─ a figure believed to be underestimated and incomplete.

The Aurat Foundation’s annual report of 2016 showed 7,852 cases of violence against women.

According to Saima Munir, who works for the Aurat Foundation, there has been a 70 per cent increase in honour killings in 2016.

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