It's almost unimaginable here in the states that a young girl could be subjected to such a cruel and painful fate as being burned alive with acid, but in Pakistan, where just such a thing occurred late last month, it has become a way to defend a family's name.
Mohammad Zafar and his wife Zaheen say that when their 15-year old daughter, Anusha, turned to look at a boy who was passing on a motorbike, she offended the family's honor. She was immediately scolded, but the parents later decided to go further.
"She said 'I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again.' By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way," Zaheen said. Her husband says he tried to wipe the acid off, but by then it was too late. The couple are parents to other children, most of whom are younger than Anusha and don't understand why their parents are being taken from them. They say an older daughter had already brought shame to the family but didn't go into specifics.
Such "honor killings" are not uncommon in Pakistan; over 900 girls and women were killed last year under similar circumstances, and the Human Rights Commission believes the number is actually higher due to some incidents which go unreported.
Anusha's parents are currently being held in jail, where they share adjacent cells. They allegedly kept the girl from receiving medical attention for hours after the acid attack and told questioning neighbors she had attempted suicide.
Zaheen, staring out from her cell
Mohammad, comforting his teary children as he is led away in chains
"Pakistani parents killed their 15 year-old daughter for eyeing a boy" This is just insane. http://t.co/Ow7Es8VC
We live in a world where this happens: Pakistan parents killed daughter for eyeing boy: http://t.co/jTBDvwlc ....
Pakistan parents killed their daughter just for eyeing a boy. Sickens me. We forget how lucky we are sometimes