ISLAMABAD, July 24: Civil bodies condemned the ‘deal’ struck at Abbakhel, where ignoring the death sentence given to four murderers and rejection of clemency appeal by the president, the two parties settled the matter with a sacrifice of eight girls and a large sum of money to the aggrieved side in compensation.

In a statement Amal, Aurat Foundation, Hawwa, PIPFPD, Uks, Women‘s Action Forum and Rozan on Wednesday said the shocking news from Mianwali of the latest outrage against women in Pakistan came just three weeks after the Meerwala incident from which we were still reeling.

Even more strongly we condemn the fact that this was done in a “mammoth gathering of religious scholars, notables, politicians and the public”, the statement said.

Once again, it is painfully evident that barbaric socio- cultural tradition and customs, which view the women without respect and as mere objects and possessions for trade and barter to save male lives and so-called “honour”, hold sway over the law of the land.

The NGOs urgently called on the government to intervene and save these eight girls from forced marriage, rape and violation. The culprits be give exemplary punishment and in this case, both the families as well as all the local influential involved, conduct an immediate inquiry into why the police did not take action to stop this “deal” and take urgent steps to ensure a safe environment for women and girls as a fundamental responsibility.

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