Karo Kari

Written By: Hazoor Bux

There is a custom in Sindh, especially in interior Sindh named (Karo Kari). Let me explain it first, Karo Kari is; if someone saw a couple (girl and boy) not a family members, talking with each other at a private place, they will be declared Karo Kari, or if any girl tells her family that she wants to marry someone, like she tells them a name of any boy with whom she wants to marry she will be declared Kari, or if any girl refused to marry with the boy chosen by her family for her marriage, she will be declared Kari,  or if any couple have got married through court they will be declared Karo Kari.

This term Karo Kari has been used in the sense of Zina, but it has been used totally illegal and un-Islamic, as I’ve defined above.

If any girl or boy has been declared Kari or Karo by his family or even any Wadero (Landlord) of the cast, village, or city, he/she will be murdered without any explanation. If any girl has been declared Kari by any person other than her family, she could be murdered even without the permission from her family; even her father or brother could not deny the allegations and stop the Wadero from killing her.

In most of the cases only girls have been killed and boys pay money to that girl’s family or the boy’s family gives a girl to the other party in the case when both girl and boy have been declared Karo Kari together. Because of this illegal custom, girls are being killed or forced to marry to any person without her will.

This illegal and un-Islamic custom is being commonly practiced in interior Sindh.

To murder anyone in the name of Karo Kari is a crime under Pakistan Penal Code PPC; its punishment has been explained under section 311 PPC. Murder in the name of Karo Kari has been defined in section 302 and 311 PPC as murder in the pretext of honor/fasad-fil-arz.

According to PPC, it’s a very vicious crime for society as a whole, its punishment has been defined the punishment of Qatal-e-amd, which is Qisas, or death sentence as Tazir, and according to section 311 PPC, even after waiver or composition by the heirs of deceased, the court is still empowered to convict accused and punish him by way of tazir, and the punishment shall be imprisonment for life, because murders of innocent girls on the pretext of Siyahkari (Kari) are mainly against the State and society and not only against an individual.

But, because of the well-established Wadera System most of the cases are not being registered, and unfortunately, this illegal custom to declare someone Karo/Kari itself has not been codified as a crime yet.