Ground Report | New Delhi: Seven-day-old baby girl; Police in the Mianwali district of Punjab province of Pakistan has arrested the father who shot dead his newborn daughter. As per the statement issued by Punjab Police on social networking site Twitter, after the arrest of the accused, IG Punjab has directed District Police Officer Mianwali to supervise the investigation himself and get the accused punished by the court.
It may be recalled that the 22-year-old accused from Mianwali had shot dead his seven-day-old daughter four days ago when her relatives came to congratulate her on the birth of her daughter.
The incident took place in Daud Khel town of Mianwali after which the accused fled but was arrested after a four-day search. Punjab Police spokesperson, three teams were formed to arrest the accused and with the help of modern technology, the accused was arrested from Bhakkar district last night.
Hidayatullah, an eyewitness to the incident, said the 22-year-old accused had snatched his newborn daughter from his wife in front of him and fired at the girl with a cracker and a pistol. Hidayatullah Khan is the uncle of the girl’s mother and according to him he was there at that time and had come with his nephew to visit his niece.
Police had registered a case of murder of the girl at the instigation of Hidayatullah, after which raids were carried out at various places to arrest her. Hidayatullah said that his niece (the girl’s mother) has not been conscious since the incident. “She is given a sleeping pill and then when she regains consciousness she gets upset.”
In some parts of the country, native Aboriginal customs mean that the girl child may be considered an insult to masculinity. Mianwali district police officer Ismail Kharak told Dawn news that Khadak, a second-year student, wanted a son as his first child.
Rights groups allege female feticide is widespread in Pakistan, which ranks low in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report, with only Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan ranked even lower.
Faisal Edhi, head of the largest social welfare charity group in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, said bodies of more than 500 infants were found dumped in the past two years -most were girls.
Families often do not want daughters, given that they are expected to pay a dowry upon marriage. And the country has a strong “respect” culture, whereby a woman can easily tarnish her family’s “prestige” through certain behaviours, often related to chastity.
Hidayatullah said that the accused wanted a son and he was not happy about the birth of a daughter. He said that he “did not think that the accused would make any such attempt. Yes, it was certain that the accused wanted a son, so he was silent.”
“Ever since this incident took place, the girl’s mother has been in a trance. She is being given sedative medicine, then when she regains consciousness she misses her daughter again and faints. Such incidents have already taken place in Pakistan on the birth of girls. There are many areas in Pakistan where sons are preferred over daughters.
In May last year, a father shot dead his three innocent daughters in the Daud Khel area of Mianwali. Locals said the accused wanted a son and had three daughters, aged between one and a half to four years.
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