A Pakistani couple accused of killing their 15-year-old daughter by pouring acid on her carried out the attack because she sullied the family's honor by looking at a boy, the couple said in an interview broadcast today by the BBC. The girl's death underlines the problem of so-called "honor killings" in Pakistan where women are often killed for marrying or having relationships not approved by their families or because they are perceived to have somehow dishonored their family. The girl's parents, Mohammad Zafar and his wife Zaheen, recounted the Oct. 29 incident from jail.
The father said the girl had turned to look at a boy who drove by on a motorcycle, and he told her it was wrong. "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," the girl's mother told the British broadcaster. The father added that the family had already come under public censure because of their older daughter's behavior. Pakistani officials initially said the attack occurred because the girl supposedly had an affair with a boy. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 943 women were killed in the name of honor last year. (Tragically, one Pakistani acid-attack victim committed suicide earlier this year.)