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Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  Ladies and Gentlemen: The Religion of Peace
Scotsman.com News - International - Honour killing plea to Pakistan's leader: "A 15-YEAR-OLD Pakistani living in fear of becoming an honour killing victim yesterday begged Pervez Musharraf, the president, to protect her from her husband's relatives.

Lakhmira Shar's husband tried to cut off her nose after attempting to take her before a tribal council to be declared an adulteress in a district of the southern Sindh province, where the practice of honour killing persists.

'I want President Musharraf and human rights organisations to take up my case,' she said from her hiding place in the marshes outside Daharki town. Although my husband is in jail, his relatives have vowed to kill me.'

Lakhmira was accused of having an affair with a man she says she has never seen. Her husband, Dilawar Dilbar, 40, has been arrested on charges of attempted murder. Police have also released her father, who was falsely accused of assault by Dilbar and his clan.

'Even though my husband is in jail, he and his relatives are insisting I should go before a tribal council headed by the sardar,' the teenager said. 'If I do that, either I will be killed or they will sell me off.'

President Musharraf is expected to return this week from a trip to the United States, where he kicked up a storm of protest after being quoted saying many Pakistanis believed the fastest way to make money and get a visa to Canada was by crying rape. The Pakistani leader, who says he is a staunch advocate of women's rights, claims he was misquoted.

Rape is particularly prevalent in rural areas of Pakistan, but local media has become more active in following up stories since a notorious gang-rape generated massive publicity at home and abroad when the victim spoke out.

Mukhtaran Mai, now an icon for human rights in Pakistan, was gang-raped three years ago on the orders of a village council after her brother, then 12, was judged to have befriended a woman of a powerful clan.

While the governmen"
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