Pakistan: parents arrested for killing 15yo daughter in acid attack

Two parents from a rural village in the Pakistani-controlled region of Kashmir have been arrested for killing their daughter by beating her, then dousing her with acid. Her crime: looking at a boy who drove by their house on a motorcycle. "She said 'I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again,'" said the mother. "By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way."


  1. What acid do these monsters use?  I’m just wondering, it seems like they have horrible acid just laying around the house?

    1. Sadly, there is one source of viciously nasty acid commonly available worldwide.  Open your car battery.  Concentrated sulphuric acid is very nasty stuff, it’s readily available, and it’s commonly used for this sort of attack.

      1. Unlike in the US, there they refill car batteries with acid at small shops so even small towns will have bottles of sulfuric acid available.

    2.  DaughterSolv is the most common brand, followed by PH-Nomenal!.

      Both have a pleasant floral scent for covering up the stench of ignorance, misogyny, and cruelty.

  2. “By then I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way.”
    You don’t get to cause something and then claim it was destiny. If I go and punch a kitten, that wasn’t the destiny of the kitten, that’s just me being a complete and utter asshole.

    Also, who has acid handy for throwing on their daughter? I’m assuming this wasn’t vinegar or lemon juice.

    1. Check your hardware store sometime. 

      “Muriatic Acid” (typically sold for cleaning excess mortar from brick and masonry construction jobs) is a decently stiff mix of Hydrochloric acid and should run under $10/gallon. Sulfuric acid (also in reasonably peppy concentrations) is the liquid electrolyte in lead-acid batteries, available anywhere that motor transport is even remotely common, and readily opened for fluid removal/maintenance/exchange (‘gelcells’, like those used in UPSes, aren’t; but standard car/truck batteries are).

      Either of those should prove a fairly ghastly contact hazard. There may be other options that have agricultural or artisanal-industry uses that I don’t know about; but dangerous acids are really pretty common things.

      1. It’s not exactly an impulse decision if you have to go to the hardware store though. So presumably, this couple had bought some acid ahead of time while thinking “Damn, I’d better buy some acid in case my daughter looks at a boy so I have some to throw on her.”

        That’s pretty fucked up.

        1. Oh, definitely fucked up. Just to clarify, though, my suggestion of ‘hardware store’ was just to emphasize that even in ye-olde-personal-injury-litigating USA you can get acid suitable for the purpose off the shelf for peanuts.

          I have no idea what the distribution chain looks like in Kashmir, and whether they had a dozen bottles of the stuff just sitting around the house for some prosaic purpose, or whether they had to go out and obtain supplies for a pre-mediated attack.

      2. Hydrochloric/Muriatic — plumber’s supply; melts anything out of metal drain lines. Sulfuric — photographic supply; “tray cleaner,” for removing precipitated silver. Got a couple gallons of each downstairs.

    2. You don’t get to cause something and then claim it was destiny.

      Parents who kill their children through neglect seem to get reduced sentences rather regularly because judges feel sorry for their ‘bereavement’. It’s a sick, sad world.

  3. Sometimes I wish there really were a hell so people like this could go there. Mostly though, I just wish we’d all leave our tired bronze and iron-age fairy tales behind us and start trying to behave like civilized human beings. It’s depressing that people think their magic books inspired by the invisible friend in the sky are justification for being willfully ignorant hateful animals.

    1. However, if Hell existed, that would mean that a god as inconsistent and cruel as the god from the same mythology would also exist. I wouldn’t put it beyond that god to send little girls to Hell for looking at boys instead of her murderers… just for lulz and to keep humans from knowing on which leg to stand.

  4. Every young woman of marriageable age in PakiStone should carry a box of baking soda on her person at all times.

  5. The article points out this is a very rare circumstance. 

    Parental child-killings here in the US do seem to happen for no saner reasons than the above.  Supposed demonic possession, custody disputes, quack medicine

    In the article the parents are quoted saying they did this because an older daughter had “disgraced” the family in the same way.

    Apparently the “talk” of neighbors was an unbearable burden for them and they had to do something to appear disapproving. Taboos are very strong things in close cultures.

    1. Sadly we’ve had honour killings by Pakistani families here in the UK – OR they ship their daughter back to some vaguely connected family member back in P’stan to do the job for them out of the reach of the Police here. At the same time you can’t condemn an entire nation for the acts of a minority, I’ve known and worked with Pakistanis who are just as revolted by these barbaric acts as I have been.

  6. Navin_Johnson, the situation you described is not comparable. The actions of one psychotic person just isn’t the same as a particular crime that is repeatedly exercised by multiple people due to cultural tolerance of it. I’m glad they were arrested, but the Pakistani government and religious leaders have done far too little to protect human rights and this is the result. That poor girl. I am against the death penalty, but if I thought it might work as a preventative measure, I would endorse it for this case.

    1. What is your solution?  Regime change? Drones? Funnel more money and arms to the region that end up in the hands of the same fundamentalists that oppress the more forward thinking peoples of this part of the world? “Nuke the entire culture” as the OP suggested?

      1. And, without wishing to in any way belittle the horror of what is genuinely disgusting behaviour on the part of two individuals, am I the only person who ever wonders why the only stories that we ever seem to get in the Western (and particularly American) media about the civilian populations of the enemies of strategic allies (cf. Pakistan, Palestine etc) and countries perceived as direct strategic threats (China, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan etc) are overwhelmingly negative and dehumanising? Wouldn’t have anything to do with making war an easier sell to the public, would it?

        State department control your media’s agenda much?

        1. You’ve never had stories like this coming out of China.  And I was just wondering the other day (on another website) why it is in the middle and far east, only the Mongolian peoples, even the Islamic ones (Indonesia), have escaped this type of insanity. 

          Believe me, the Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos don’t have this sort of thing going on in their families and I don’t believe the Koreans, Vietnamese and all the rest do either.  My reason for picking out the first three is that my own family has all of them and so I’m well-acquainted with their histories and fathers and mothers don’t go around killing daughters.  Some of them might make their kids miserable in other ways but not by killing them.

          1. Admittedly, the stories out of China are more nuanced, but not by much. Ever notice the stories that get the most attention and surface incessantly are always “CHINA MANUFACTURES UNSAFE PRODUCTS!” and never “Woah, someone in China just made a far superior product to our domestic version and it’s cheaper too.”?

            …and, if I was really going to live up to my username, I’d point out that Tibetan/Uighur oppression (with all the gory, brutal details) gets far more press coverage than stories about people living together peacefully…

          2. Actually when it comes to FOOD products, the Chinese themselves trust our products more than they do their own.  Not that I consider ours anything to brag about; I eat organic when possible.  I’m just saying what the Chinese do.  A top Chinese CEO said on American TV that when he’s in the US his wife has him bring home a whole lot of bottled (canned?) baby foods.  And in China they trust KFC more than their home grown fast foods because they feel US foods have a reputation for being safer than theirs do.  This is, like I said, a top Chinese CEO that said all this.

    2. The actions of one psychotic person just isn’t the same as a particular crime that is repeatedly exercised by multiple people due to cultural tolerance of it.

      You’re looking at the world through rosewhite-colored glasses. Killing people during exorcisms is becoming disturbingly common. And the churches involved don’t seem to see the problem.

      1. I accidentally gave you a ‘like’ when I meant to hit reply.

        I did NOT have to look up the word conflate.  I’m an obsessive reader.  I read a book a day and have done so since the age of 9, although when I was in college I stopped since it interfered with my studies, and there are very few words that I need to look up.  I do find it amusing however when a person uses a more sophisticated word than is necessary.  It sounds so intellectually artificial.

          1. Ah, is that a compliment or an cutely disguised insult?  If the former, it’s certainly highly probable.  My progeny, one of whom was a child prodigy, would suggest the possibility and I do read a copious amount of material, retaining almost everything that I read.  My memory is nearly eidetic, the aforementioned prodigy’s being so.     If it was meant to be an insult, then you should probably have said ego although I don’t really have that kind of ego.  I just like to complain about things and try to set things right, even if it’s just another person’s opinion–not that that happens very often.  The thinking processes of too many people are emotional in origin and are unaffected by logic and facts.  I often wonder why I try.  Lately in fact I’ve cut down on my blogging since I became too frustrated with right wingers and too depressed by all the evil there is in the world.

  7. “You say it is your custom to burn a woman on a pyre, Well, it is our custom to hang men who burn women. You build your pyre, we will build a scaffold. You follow your custom; then we will follow ours.”

    1.  Say what you will about the other things the British did to India, but I cannot fault them for that.

  8. “It was her fate to die this way.” Sounds hopelessly barbaric, doesn’t it? Like it could only happen in some insane far away place?

    Now try this one: “It was a gift from God [that she was raped and got pregnant]”. A little closer to home, but easily as barbaric and insane.

      1. It might lead to that – there are plenty of people here who won’t make an exception even when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.

        1. Well, this is true.  Hopefully it won’t come to that.  Did you read about the case that Romney tried to interfere with where the mother’s life was in danger?  It was really nasty.  I think he has identity confusion.  He thinks he’s God. 

          1. In the Mormon faith, men have the ability to become gods.  So, yeah.

            I wish someone would ask Romney on-camera “how many gods are there?” so that the US electorate learns that Mormons don’t believe in one god like most Christians (and Jews and Muslims) do.  Dirty pool, but I think it would work a lot better than any more questions about his (non-existent) policies.

          2. Good grief, I had no idea.  Asking him sounds like a good idea.  Too bad the time has run out.  I wonder if they think it’s possible for women to become Gods?  haha  Why do we always get the short end of the stick?  

          3. @madihwa:disqus 

            Pshaw.  Women become wives to the gods.  The short end of the stick is a feature, not a bug.

  9. So they just carry this acid around ready to throw on their daughters the moment a daughter looks the wrong way or has a dubious expression on her face?  It is truly a curse to be born a Middle Eastern woman.  These people are sick and should receive the death penalty.  How can a girl born there ever feel a moments peace knowing that any second she can be killed?  How can she ever feel loved and how can she ever feel free to love a daughter knowing that she can lose her so quickly?

      1. The attitudes and the results are the same.  They kill even more of them in the rest of the Middle East! 

        Redraw the fricking lines! I get SO TIRED of having India and Pakistan considered part of the Far East when they are (1) not of Mongolian descent!  (2) not culturally the same as the Asian countries which do not have the weirdness and craziness about religion or nastiness in their behavior toward their women, girl children and gay sons.  Don’t even attempt to quarrel with me on number 2.  My family has Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos in it.  Their attitudes toward women’s behavior and gays is SO far from those others that I resent being lumped together. 

        We marry who we choose.  Lots of intermarriage, although Chinese continue to disapprove of their sons marrying Korean girls.  That doesn’t mean it always stops them.  I went to a Chinese wedding where the wedding song was sung by a relative of the groom, a young gay man.  Asians don’t have ANY of the craziness that characterizes India and Pakistan.  Even muslim Indonesia doesn’t have that craziness (I researched it).  The muslims in northwestern China don’t have it either.  They quite happily intermarry with their neighbors of all breeds.  There’s a lot of good looking people there.  Interestingly enough, that area also produces China’s most beautiful music.  It’s the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard and was, in fact, what first got me interested in Chinese music.

        And why COULDN’T they redraw the lines?  Look how for centuries we’ve considered Europe and China to be two separate continents simply because we couldn’t stand the thought that we were really in any way genetically connected to the dreaded ‘yellow peril’.  Well, guess what the Human Genome Project proved?  When groups of people left their originating country in Africa, the group that became Asians later split again with another group going to Europe and becoming WHITE people!  So Caucasians are descended from Mongolians!  It is SO logical!  There is, after all, only a mountain range separating them.

        1. You are incredibly badly informed.  India, specifically Hindu India has a worse record of violence against women than any country in the Middle East.  Please do some reading before commenting again.

          1. First off, I was including all of those countries in the crazy category.  Second though, the overwhelming majority of honor killings ARE among muslims.  I read that in many articles.  Now as to ‘dowry’ kitchen fire type murders I have no idea what the figures are on these deaths.  As I said though, I include all these countries, the Middle East, Pakistan and India in the crazy column which is really too bad since previously I really admired the Hindus.  I especially loved watching their TV shows as their actors and actresses are gorgeous and wear such beautiful clothes.  But after learning that they are just as crazy as the Islamics I was upset and deeply disappointed.  The only thing I can find to make me feel any better is that the women are not responsible for this situation.  They are the victims.
            And no one can have read more about this subject than I have–unless they’ve writing their thesis for a doctoral candidacy.

          2. the overwhelming majority of honor killings ARE among muslims.

            You just made that up.,8599,1991195,00.html

            Now as to ‘dowry’ kitchen fire type murders I have no idea what the figures are on these deaths.

            “A 1997 report claimed that at least 5,000 women die each year because of dowry deaths and at least a dozen die each day in ‘kitchen fires’ thought to be intentional.”

            Also female infanticide is a large enough problem that men are beginning to seriously outnumber women.

            Would it kill you to use Wikipedia or Google?

          3. I use google all the time!  Where the heck do you think I GET my information?!  How could anyone exist on the internet and not use Google?  You are a very weird person.  Are you from some other planet?  I’m a  sci-fi reader.  I’ve always been interested in aliens.  I think I’ll skip on YOU though.  Even an alien would know that EVERYONE who uses the internet uses Google.  Even my 80 year old husband uses Google and HE’S the most out of touch person I know. 

            I write key words into google and then I see what I get and what I got was information stating that the majority of honor killings were among muslims.  How is it that YOU are the only one in the world who does NOT know this?

            I was not trying in any way to denigrate the number of kitchen fire killings that there are.  I KNOW that they are high!  Are you THAT stupid that you haven’t noticed that I’ve referred to ALL these countries as CRAZY?!  I had no desire to look up the numbers because I’ve seen enough horror stories coming out of that part of the world.  Besides, come to think of it, I did that years ago.  I am pretty old now, 69.  I remember looking into that years ago but I don’t remember what the figures were on how many died each year.

            As for men outnumbering women; talk about OLD NEWS!!!  Some of the men there have started using women as stud animals, sending them from man to man to give birth to sons.  They abort the females, naturally.  Did YOU know THAT?  Disgusting people!  Chinese have the same sex imbalance problem but would never resort to this sort of inhumane, degrading, nasty treatment of women.  The govt would never allow it either.  Even Chinese orphanages take much better care of children than other countries do.  Ask people who’ve adopted Chinese children.

            You make weird accusations.

          4. How is it that YOU are the only one in the world who does NOT know this?

            How is it that I’ve offered citations and you haven’t?

          5. I looked up the articles you referred to in your blog.  In no way do they indicate that India has more honor killings than do Islamics.  They talk about the killings due to intercast marriage which the idiots have banned but in no way do the articles indicate that these murders have increased in number to rival those of the Islamics. 

            Why don’t YOU use GOOGLE more yourself to research honor killings as I have done extensively in the past or do you need ME to give you the websites?  Are you really that lazy that you need a 69 year old lady to do your work for you?  If you do I will, but really!!!

          6. So!  What a lazy young man you are!  You ARE going to force an old woman to do your work for you.  Very well then.  Here are three websites you may go to.  There were many, many more but I figured that three were enough for you to start on:

            Actually it wasn’t that much work.  I just typed in ‘worldwide prevalence of honor killings’.  You may thank me now for doing your work for you since YOU were too lazy to use Google.  Ah, you DO know how, don’t you? 

          7. I have removed your links because two of them are to weel-known Islamophobic propaganda sites and one of them was clearly labeled as an opinion piece.

            We’re done with this.

  10. It’s not an “honor killing” when Bubba shoots his slut of an exgirlfriend Darleen  in the Piggly  Wiggly parking lot, because they’s good Christian folk. 

  11. “September 2, 2012: (CNN) — A New York man was arrested after police say he poured acid on his daughter, burning her skin and sending her to the hospital in critical condition.”

    Let’s nuke the entire culture, Earth is better off without this iron age fossil.

    Edit – my post was in reply to one (now removed) which stated: “Let’s nuke the entire culture, Earth is better off without this iron age fossil.”

  12. (NynjaSquirrel, you beat me to it.)

    There are no fully healthy human cultures.  If this offends you as it does me… help build one.

  13. One of the benefits of being part of the culture at the top of the ladder is that your legions of crazies are always ‘isolated incidents’ and lone whackos.  Reminds me of a current local story where a white Catholic lady stabbed her child 100 times and gave 50 to a little girl she was also babysitting, because she wanted to get back at her husband, and because Jeebus said to……

    There was also an acid attack here too, and it was done by people who certainly weren’t Muslims, and were almost certainly (98% likely) Christians. There have been other acid attacks here too, enough for lawmakers to vote on banning easy access at hardware stores. None of them were by Muslims.

    This is not a defense, but it you want to call out “cultures” at large, then be fair about it.

  14. I wonder which culture s/he imagines s/he is talking about. The two opposing cultures here are cultures of shame and cultures of guilt. Both a sense of shame and a sense of guilt can be manipulated to remove the individual’s freedom to assess a situation and act accordingly.The parents may be innocent victims as much as their daughter.
    It is not simply a theological (iron age fossil?) problem. Shame produces completely different effects in a culture like Japan, for instance.

  15. Apologist – not at all – you completely missed the point I made. The ‘removed post’ was in favour of wiping out an entire culture based on this news report – I merely posted a counterpoint to emphasise that ‘people in glass houses…’. etc. This attack, as well as any honour killing are completely abhorrent to me, the parents should suffer the same fate in my personal opinion, but then so should the wife beater, drunk driver or child abuser. This girl was an innocent, denied a life by archaic bullshit that needs to be stopped. However (and this is not an excuse, merely an observation), they were from a very rural part of a vast region that’s significantly further behind the times than NYC is – but I didn’t hear cries to wipe out America.

  16. You know – after I made the comment I wondered how long before Sandy got a mention. I’m sure in some dark, rural corner of a desolate region it would probably be thought of as some god smiting someone somewhere, but apportioning blame for a natural occurence seems just as ridiculous as the reasons for the acid attack.

  17. There have been other acid attacks here too, enough for lawmakers to vote on banning easy access at hardware stores.

    I think you’re missing at least two bits of information needed to rationally rather than impulsively decide that should actually be done.

    – A comparison of how many of these kind of killings are performed compared to other types.
    – Research based on psychology, history, other bits of information we already know examining how likely various levels of restricting access to acids used for this type of killing will reduce the number of these killings vs. just causing the others types of killings to increase.

    Sadly to say, but it isn’t hard to kill a human being. You can do it with your bare hands. And there are a plethora of other ways to do it with things that obviously have no rationale to being restricted.

    So I’m doubting such a thing will really be of any help. And laws that don’t really help, but cause in hindrances to normal valid actions have no business being in place.

  18. Wait….there’s a religion which is used as an excuse to kill people?  And it’s not — shock, horror — Islam?

    She’s been sent to Gitmo as a terrorist, right?  Right?

    /s (in case anyone was confused)

  19. We don’t have hundreds or thousands (no one knows for certain the true number) of parents killing their daughters for ‘shaming’ their families.  Here the parents usually just beat them, scream at them or throw them out of the house.  Gee, are you really THAT unfamiliar with American culture? 

    Child killers here are either perverts such as pedophiles, wackos or serial killers.  We don’t have ‘honor killings’ because of religion in this country.

  20. Although wiping out an entire culture is in no way an appropriate response, I don’t think it’s “people in glass houses” either.

    If it was the expected thing to do in NYC in a situation like this, I would be totally ready to blame the whole US for it. The problem with things like honor killings is that it is not enough to blame just the ones doing it, it is expected of them and nobody reports them. It should bring shame to the whole country when a parent does something like this or nothing changes.

  21. There are ways to wipe out a culture without killing anyone. Persuasion, engagement, propaganda, trade, helping the other culture understand that giving something up is useful to get something better. Nudges and respect work faster than heavy handedness.

    So yeah. Count me on the side of wiping out this culture.

  22. The point is – honour killings are not culturally expected in the whole of Pakistan either – and that was my original point in responding to the original removed reply that an entire culture should be wiped out as a result of this attack. In this case they were also reported by a family member – which again goes to show that this is not widely accepted behaviour.

  23. Don’t conflate this practice with Islam. 
    Don’t conflate the actions of a few backward people with civilisations or countries or cities.

    Meanwhile, back in Islamabad, hard liners are demanding a break in relations with the US due to a story about a woman in Wisconsin with severe post-partum depression whose murder-suicide plan failed.

    Be angry at the parents. It’s shocking and tragic. But it’s not a cultural Us vs Them story.

  24. You misunderstood what I said.  And everybody likes you for it!  I said Sandy nuked New York.  God was not in that sentence at all, not even implicitly.

  25.  Oh – I know, I was making the point that someone, somewhere would ‘probably’ say it was their god being vengeful.

  26. There aren’t that many of them now that they know the damage it can cause and they aren’t really intending harm.  They’re just frustrated out of control parents who are usually poor also and living in bad conditions.  This isn’t as bad as purposely killing your child because she glanced at a guy. 

  27. Well, you sure like that word ‘conflate’, don’t you?  Is that your ‘word for the day’?  You even used it twice.  It sounds a little silly used twice, especially when there are simpler words which would have done just as well.

    But anyway……this practice of killing women and girls doesn’t merely happen among the uneducated.  One muslim TV producer or something like that here in the states whose wife was divorcing him took a sword and whacked off her head.  If it’s merely among the peasantry why doesn’t the upper class that RULES  do something about it–like punishing the killers by putting them in prison for a long, long time?  That’s the only way I’ll ever believe it’s only the uneducated who do it.

    Despite the current political correctness of all cultures being equal, the fact is that some cultures are better than others.  To say that all cultures are equal is to be illogical.  The Chinese culture (not the government) I consider to be the best of all.  And if you haven’t lived it, then you don’t know it and have no point of reference from which to criticize it. 

  28. Well, you sure like that word ‘conflate’, don’t you? Is that your ‘word for the day’? You even used it twice. It sounds a little silly used twice, especially when there are simpler words which would have done just as well.

    Welcome to Boing Boing. We’re smarter than the rest of the internet and we use words that some people have to look up. We like it that way.

  29. Cultures are equal the way people are equal. Nothing more than that.
    My point was not to diminish the murder, but to suggest we don’t have to have a stoning and resort to Clash of Civilisations propaganda every time someone does something despicable. 99.9% of us are 99.9% the same. Let’s not have another war for oil over human rights. (I was responding to a comment, now removed, that suggested we break off relations with muslims.)

    On reflection, (thinking about it longer) the problem is modernity (new) vs. antiquity (old), fundamentalism(?) vs. contextualism(?). These are global problems that are currently pulling the world apart – in the US election, for example. Surely these same problems are pronounced (really super obvious) in China. 

    I’m sorry, but dumbing down is stupid. The problem is I need a simple word that means “treating two distinct concepts as if they were one, which produces errors or misunderstandings as a fusion of distinct subjects tends to obscure analysis of relationships which are emphasised by contrasts.”

  30. Ha! I just glanced at the last paragraph of your comment, totally out of context, and halfway through the second sentence said, “Conflate!”

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