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Editorial

April 15, 2018

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A brutal murder

The disrespect with which entertainers are treated in our society was highlighted once more on April 10 at an aqeeqa ceremony held in Kangi village near Larkana. Samina Sindhu, a popular folk and Sufi singer who had been invited to perform on the occasion, was shot dead after refusing to stand up and dance at the request of onlookers. She was heavily pregnant. Her killer, Tariq Jatoi, was reportedly inebriated at the time and had insisted the performer dance. Her husband said she had stood up, but could not dance because of her condition. The incident itself is shocking. The behaviour we saw from Tariq Jatoi and his accomplices has been seen at other places around the country as well. The husband of the victim and his companions sat with the body for hours outside the Kangi police station with police declining to take action. A case for double murder was finally registered. The SHO of the station had also been present at the ceremony, and a video circulated on social media shows members of the audience talking to Samina and possibly demanding that she stand up or dance.

Like many other performers, Samina made her living chiefly by singing at family functions. In Kangi she was trying to do exactly this. The video of the event shows the general attitude towards female performers in a culture where they are frequently treated as women with little morality. We hope an example will be set in this case. We must hope that, for once, the powerful will not be protected and that rule of law will prevail. Samina and her bereaved husband did not deserve the fate they met. It came unexpectedly and violently in a country where guns are now present everywhere. According to some sections of the media, Tariq Jatoi has said he was not shooting to kill but firing in the air in celebration. The three bullets apparently pumped into the singer’s body open questions about this version of events. The key point, however, is that a terrible crime was committed. A woman was humiliated and then killed mercilessly. Justice must be done and an example set for everyone in society so that we ensure more lives are not taken away in so callous a manner simply on a whim or to satisfy the ego of the powerful.

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