BUT for the news leaked by the Asian Human Rights Commission and picked up by this paper and later the issue raised on the floor of the Upper House by Senator Bibi Yasmin Shah of the PML(Q), the cruel end of five women's lives from Balochistan's Jafferabad district would not have, perhaps, ever come to light. The entire incident - the abduction of the women at gunpoint, the murder of the three for their insistence on marrying men of their choice and of the two for daring to come to their help - is both brutal and shameful, and the defence of their "burial alive" (for till that time they were reported to have been buried alive) by an illustrious son of the province in the Senate is, indeed, worse. That Senator Israr Ullah Zehri should justify the act on grounds of a Baloch tradition has been roundly denied by Baloch Senator Jamal Leghari. In any case, it is most reprehensible in the eyes of Islam and against the law of the land and the Constitution. Senator Zehri's plea that it should not be portrayed negatively would amount to a call for papering over a heinous crime. Acting Chairman Jan Mohammad Jamali's advice to Senator Yasmin Shah to go to the area, see the situation and then give her views, is no better. The hue and cry finally forced the authorities to register a case and begin investigating the crime. A tentative report of the autopsy of the two exhumed bodies indicates deaths caused by the hitting of a blunt instrument. There is still no news about the bodies of the rest of the three. The matter must be followed through and condign punishment awarded to the guilty.