Gruesome incidents like honor killings, forced marriages, acid throwing and killing for refusal of marriage proposals have become a regular phenomenon in Pakistan. It seems that the Pakistani society is filled with barbarians where life and honor of females is cut short with no fear of punishment. It seems that criminal justice system in the country has become dysfunctional and constantly fails to protect citizens from the brutal and tyrant actions of evil minded people.

Maria Sadaqat, 21, a female school teacher was tortured and set on fire by the school principal along with five others. The perpetrators sprinkled kerosene oil on her at her house in Murree, after she refused a marriage proposal. She died from injuries in Islamabad's Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Wednesday June 1.

According to an account that Maria gave to the police some time before her death, she and her sister were alone at home while their parents had gone to mourn the death of their relative. That’s when the principal Shaukat – who is 60 to 65 years old – along with Mian Arshad, Riffat Mehmood (55) and three other unknown men came to their home, at around 11:45 am. Shaukat started shouting at her accusing her of having relations with his son and saying that he would burn her to death. Later, Shaukat sprinkled kerosene oil on her and set her on fire. All the men managed to escape after committing the crime.

Regrettably, Maria is not the victim of this barbarity. In Pakistan, countless incidents of such inhuman activities, such as killings of innocent minor girls, have been taking place over the years without any hesitation or fear – as if there is no existence of law that would punish these criminals.

Recently, a 16 year old girl of Bheel community was killed brutally after sexual assault by the son of a police constable when she went into the farmland in Khipro town of Sanghar in Sindh. Civil society activists and people of Bheel community have been staging protests for arrest of the perpetrator.

In April, in the latest case of honour killing in Karachi metropolis, Sumaira, 16, was murdered when her brother slit her throat with a kitchen knife after he found her talking to a man on her mobile phone at the doorstep of her home in the Orangi Town.

In May, the chilling murder of Ambreen, 16, occurred at Galyat’s Makol village in Abbottabad. As a punishment for helping her friend escape the village to marry according to her free will, she was taken from her home to an abandoned house where she was drugged, killed, and placed in the backseat of a parked van on the behest of a 15-member Jirga. The van was then doused with petrol and set on fire.

Shockingly, countless incidents of sexual assault and honour killings occur in rural areas of Sindh but most of them are not highlighted and reported by the national media including TV channels, Urdu and English newspapers. Only a few are reported.

The only way to control this atrocious and vicious crime of killing innocent girls is through speedy justice and severe punishments to the monstrous offenders.  If in any section of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) the crime is bail-able or compoundable that requires out of court settlement or any type of compensation or forgiveness by the parents of victim girls, it needs to be amended.