Tania Khashkeli is The New Victim of Our Feudal System
The saying goes that “whatever happens, happens for the best”. But it makes me wonder how it can apply to everything in life. Can this saying apply to the family of the 19-year-old Tania Khashkeli who was shot dead more than a week ago while her perpetrator still remains at large? It will break your heart to know what this girl’s crime was just as it broke mine. All she did was refuse to marry a feudal lord of Jhangara Bajara Town namely Khan Noohani who was more than twice her age. This feudal lord’s fragile ego could not handle the refusal he got from the woman he wanted and so he thought that the only way to rectify the situation was to gather his armed associates and kill her, which he did.
Tell me how that worked out for the best? Tell that to the parents who cry themselves to sleep every night knowing that their daughter will never have a future let alone the future they had hoped for her to have.
According to Dawn, Tania Khashkeli’s father said that Khan Noohani showed up on 8th September at their doorstep with his men with the intention of kidnapping Tania. But when Tania’s family put up a fight the men shot her. The gunshot wound proved to be fatal and Tania died on the spot.
While the Chief Minister of Sindh Mr. Syed Murad Shah has ordered the immediate arrest of all the men responsible for this horrendous crime, Khan Noohani still remains at large and Tania’s family is still awaiting justice. Tania’s family claims that the police has not arrested the killer because he is affiliated with Pakistan People’s Party.
While most of the world today views feudalism as a term of the past, for Pakistan, it is very much a reality that is actively happening as we speak. The country itself has been run by feudal lords who are responsible for controlling not only agriculture but several important government decisions to an extent. These feudal lords are royalties with kingdoms to rule over and crimes to get away with. And they do get away with a lot, just like Khan Noohani still walks free among us somewhere.
These feudal lords residing in the rural areas of Pakistan deny children education and women their rights. Islam gives every woman the right to refuse marriage if she isn’t in favor of the man who is bringing the proposal, just like men have the same right. Young Tania had every right to say no to the proposal brought forth by Khan Noohani, which she did. If only he had respected her wishes the way our religion instructs everyone in his shoes to do so, then Tania Khashkeli could have had a future.
Despite the fact that efforts are being made to bring Tania’s killer to justice, one fact remains that thousands of girls in the rural areas of Pakistan are being forced into marriages such as these for the sheer pleasure of the feudal lords who ask for them. The only reason we don’t get to hear about these stories is that people are often silenced to keep a feudal lord safe. Like Tania Khashkeli, many daughters of this nation are denied justice every day.
I believe that what happened to Tania Khashkeli was a consequence of the government’s lack of efforts to end the control that the feudal lords have on their respective territories. The officials often help feudal lords to accomplish their vile plans. The only way to fix it would be to fix the root of the problem: feudalism. And to do that, concerned authorities need to stop supporting and protecting the feudal system and provide help to helpless people like Tania.