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KARACHI, June 16: Over 451 people - including 240 women, 156 men and 46 minors – have been killed under the pretext of karo-kari, during May 2004-05 in the interior of Sindh, says the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

HRCP Secretary-General Iqbal Haider, councillors Iqbal Butt and Amarnath and coordinator Nadia Haroon, speaking at a press conference on Thursday said that such a large number of killings in a year proved that the government had miserably failed to maintain law and order in the province so it should resign immediately.

They said that these figures had been gathered from the incidents reported in various newspapers which could be termed as tip of the iceberg as a vast majority of such cases occurring in the remote rural areas were never reported in the media. If all such cases had been reported then the figures of those murdered would have been many times higher.

They said that over 95 women had committed suicides and 90 others had attempted to commit suicides, but were saved, during the fist five months of the current year while 186 men had committed suicide and 161 others though attempted, were saved, during the same period in the interior of Sindh.

They said that similarly over 30 women, including four minors, had been raped during the year between May 2004 and May 2005 in the city where as over 307 people had been kidnapped which showed the collapse of the law and order situation in the biggest metropolis of the country.

They said that during the same period over 895 people had been murdered in the city while 74 others had committed suicide.

Condemning the Sindh government they said that rather than doing anything to improve the law and order situation it was focusing on harassing and torturing its political opponents.

They also condemned the murder of an MMA leader Aslam Mujahid and Sunni Tehreek activists and demanded that the murderers be arrested immediately and punished according to the law.

They also criticized the arrest of members of the parliament – Muttahida Majlis-i-Ammal MNA Mohammad Hussain Mehnati and Sindh PPP MPA Zahid Burghari — when the assemblies were in session and termed it a violation of the constitution. They also criticized the role of the speakers of national and Sindh assemblies for not protecting their house members.

They said Sindh PPP MPAs – Farheen Mughal, Shamim Ara Panhwar and Humaira Alwani – were being harassed and false cases were being fabricated against them to change their political loyalties.