KARACHI, Sept 1: A noisy protest was staged outside the Karachi Press Club on Monday by emotionally charged activists of various political and social groups against the recent burying alive of five female members of a tribe in Balochistan.

Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against honour killings and Senator Israrullah Zehri’s remarks to defend the act in the name “Baloch traditions”, the protesters criticised acting Senate Chairman Jan Mohammad Jamali for not allowing a woman Senator to take up the issue on the floor of the house.

Co-chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider condemned Senator Zehri’s remarks, and said: “Both Senator Zehri and Senator Jamali have violated the Constitution by supporting the women’s killing,” he said, and demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the killing.

He urged all presidential candidates to publicly condemn this barbaric incident, and said that the two senators should not be allowed to cast their votes in the presidential election for defending the murders.

“Under Article 4 of the Constitution, everybody is entitled to equal treatment… the Constitution protects the life and property of citizens… other articles prohibit illegal arrests, violation of human dignity and discrimination of all sorts. Instead of protecting the Constitution, the senators chose to protect the customs, hence they have violated the oath of office and, thus, stand disqualified,” said Mr Haider.

He regretted that while Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani visited Balochistan a couple of days back but did not utter a single word on the issue.