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Pakistani daily laments acid attacks

Pakistan,Crime/Disaster/Accident,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 IANS

Islamabad, April 9 (IANS) A woman being sentenced to 34 years in prison for hurling acid at her former fiance's father is "an indication of how knowledge of the potential uses of acid has spread in society", said a daily.


An editorial in the Dawn Monday said that assault is a crime and must be treated as one in every instance.


"Yet there is a sad irony in the fact that, lately, in one of the few prosecutions in cases of acid attack, the person accused was a woman," it said.


On Thursday, a Faisalabad anti-terrorism court handed down a 34-year sentence to a woman for throwing acid on her former fiance's father.


"It must be appreciated that justice has been served.


"That a woman used this route of revenge, even though such attacks are mostly directed against women, should be taken perhaps as an indication of how knowledge of the potential uses of acid has spread in society. This form of assault has taken such root in Pakistani society that it was felt necessary to specifically criminalise it through the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2011," the editorial added.


Saying that acid crime in Pakistan has been in the news quite frequently of late, it said that in February, "this dark issue found itself in the glare of international attention when a documentary on the subject was awarded an Oscar".


"And since Fakhra Younis, who suffered horrifying injuries when acid was thrown on her by allegedly her husband, jumped to her death on March 17, there has been debate about how the patriarchal societal mindset is an impediment to carrying out successful prosecutions."


The daily said that "...apart from the bane of political or other connections, which can help people evade prosecution, the fact is that victims of acid crime often receive no justice because neither the law nor society stands by them".


"In the legal system, this deficiency has been addressed. That can be followed up with a campaign highlighting that acid crime has not just been criminalised but that it constitutes heinous violence."


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