Another trigger pulled; another knife jabbed; another hand strangled; another daughter killed; killed for honor, killed to satiate a man’s hunger for ‘pride’. There was murder afoot with justice nowhere in sight. Each day a story of a daughter, a wife, a sister, a mother painted the headlines red. In the shabbiest of slums to the brightest of cities, this honour engulfed in its wrath women without pity. The walls of the house she was locked in for ‘her’ protection were used to be painted with her blood. In the last three years alone, those four walls saw 1,872 women murdered, according to a recent report by HRCP.

But this was not the only story these walls told, this was not the only atrocity these walls had witnessed, this was not the only murder they had failed to stop. Long before her body hit the ground, something else had already been killed by this so-called honour. The story of ‘honour’ was an old one. When his wife got pregnant, the doctor told him of the happy news of being soon-to-be father of a lovely daughter. ‘Honour’ riled him up. How would he survive among the fellow ‘honorable’ men if a girl was born from the womb he had planted his seed into? He had a few ways out of the mess. But first the wife received the thrashing she had deserved for carrying a daughter inside of her. He could now either force her to abort the ‘menace’. He could strangle the girl upon her birth and silently bury her. The best way to not get his hands dirty with blood would be just to throw her in some dumpster. Yes. This would probably placate his ‘honour’.

If he let the daughter open her eyes in this world, she would have to abide by the rules his honour put forth. The shrewd murder was now not where blood was spilt, it was of that of killing the soul. She was not to set foot outside the house. She was to wear a scarf bigger than her size to cover her body. She was told to take pride in covering her up to serve ‘honour’. Even before her breasts had formed, she was being taught her existence was for a man’s pleasure. ‘Honorable’ men were leering at her body covered from head to toe, yet the whispers in her ear were telling only her to look down and not smile. The phrase “what would people say” was honour’s modus operandi for murdering her dreams. Lucky was she if honor took pity and put her in a school uniform. But there were watchful eyes monitoring her every move as if waiting for her to make a move that threatened the honor so they could exact vengeance. Not covering her head made her a whore. Whores tainted honor. Being a whore was not acceptable. The questions within her were silenced so the questions on honor would not be raised. What if she wanted to paint, what if she wanted to sing, what if she wanted to dance, what if she wanted to study, what if she wanted to dream, what if she wanted to ride a bicycle, what if she wanted to run, what if she wanted to drive a car, what if she wanted to go out with her friends, what if she wanted to fall in love, what if she wanted to marry the one she liked, what if she wanted to not bear six children, what if she wanted to no longer be silent, what if she wanted to speak her mind, what if she wanted to complain against her incarceration, what if she wanted to be someone more than just someone’s wife, what if she wanted to be hers for once, what is she wanted to touch the skies, what if she was capable of touching the skies- she wondered if his honor would even acknowledge the atrocities it had wrought.

But when the murderer of Qandeel Baloch said, “I am proud of what I did,” she realised when that ‘honour’ didn’t even find her corpse a victim, the killing of her dreams, her wishes, her potentials, her talents, and her freedom won’t ever make it rue.

“And when the girl-child who was buried alive is asked, upon what sin was she killed for” - Quran 81:8-9