Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) President Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti has condemned the forced marriage and honor killing of a Baloch woman in Toronto and urged the Canadian government to thoroughly investigate the matter and award exemplary punishment to the culprits involved..
In a statement Saturday, Dr. Bhatti, who doubles as editor of the Pakistan Christian Post, expressed grief and sadness over the killing of Shaher Bano Shahadady by her religious extremist husband Abdul Malik Rustam on July 22.
Toronto police have charged Rustam with first-degree murder.
“What is even more heart-rending is that the girl was married against her wishes by her father,” Dr. Bhatti said.
Shahdady’s Facebook friends revealed even her father, who is a born-again Muslim missionary, had threatened to kill her.
Shahdady was the moderator of one of the largest Baloch groups on Facebook with more than 6,000 members. She used the pseudonym “Mahrang Musafira” while administering the group and according to her Facebook friends and Baloch sources she was killed for honor by her Muslim fanatic husband for using Facebook and befriending strange men.
Islam prohibits females from contacting male strangers, or namuharrum.
The estranged husband was staying with her father on the day of the killing, while Shahdady had moved out of her father’s home July 1. She had discussed divorcing her husband with one her friends on the Facebook.
“The way Shahdady was forcibly married off by her father, while she was visiting Pakistan a couple of years back, was a grave travesty of justice with the gifted Baloch female,” Dr. Bhatti said.
Dr. Bhatti hoped the murder of Shahdady would be treated as an attack on the inherent secularism and liberalism of the Baloch people.
Dr. Bhatti assured American Friends of Balochistan full support in its campaign to get justice for Shaher Bano Shahdady.
The A.F.B. has vowed that it will not allow any Baloch woman “wherever it can” to get forcibly married and killed in the the name of honor
“Women throughout the world should be outraged,” Jane Weisner, Amherst, Mass., based leader of the A.F.B. said. Weisner, whose husband is a retired Jewish professor, will be contacting Canadian lawmakers and civil society representatives on the matter.