Murder of PPP MPA Shahnaz Ansari reflects ‘frail women’ in Sindh

PPP Sindh, MPA Shahnaz Ansari was gunned down by the nephew of her brother in law in Darya Khan Marri, in district Naushehro Feroz on Saturday. ‘’PPP leadership, including chairman Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, has condemned the heinous murder of Shahnaz Ansari,’’ PPP MNA Nafisa Shah told the Global Village Space.

murder

According to police sources, the MPA went to attend chehlum in village Darya Khan Marri in Naushehro Feroz in Sindh where she was killed by Waqar Khokhar. She was rushed to the people’s Medical Hospital Nawab Shah, where she breathed her last.

‘’The brother in law of Shahnaz had natural death 40 days ago, and the property dispute started between the widow sister of Shahnaz Ansari and her brother-in-laws,’’ police told the media.

The property dispute emerged after the death of brother in law of Shehnaz Ansari some forty days ago. ‘’The MPA, Shahnaz Ansari wrote to the SSP Naushehroferoz and the Deputy Commissioner in the district to call their attention to the matter and informed them about the possible murder of hers by the Akhtar Khokhar. The police and the concerned authorities did not heed the issue,’’ said Dr. Hameed Ansari, Shahnaz’s husband.

Bilawal Bhutto, Chairman PPP, expressing deep sorrow over the heinous murder of Shahnaz Ansari said that she was courageous and stood by the party decisions during highs and lows

The Pakistan People’s Party condemned the incident and ensured to bring the culprits behind bars soon. Chairman Pakistan People’s Party expressed deep sorrow over her murder and delayed his political activities three days to express solidarity with the family of deceased MPA.

People’s Party MNA and Central information secretary PPP, Nafisa Shah also condemned the heinous murder of MPA Shahnaz Ansari.

While talking to Global Village Space (GVS) Dr, Shah said “I condemn the murder of Shahnaz Ansari in strong possible words, we are with the family of the deceased MPA.’’ Furthermore, she added that the murderers must be punished as soon as possible.

‘’Miss Shehnaz was asset for the party, and was strong voice for deprived, and women, the party has delayed political activities for three days,’’ Nafisa Shah told Global Village Space.

Read more: Why govt & PPP at odds following Bilawal’s appearance before NAB

While all political leaders are condemning the murder and the PPP led government is promising strong punishments for the murderer, most people are not convinced. While talking to GVS, many people have expressed the fear that her murder will soon be forgotten, and the case will be lost in the endless system of police and courts.

Political contribution of Shahnaz Ansari

Born in 1970’s, Shanaz Ansari became social activist during her education in Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur. She soon started to work for the social uplift of her village. Shahnaz later joined Pakistan People’s Party and was elected as the District President of Women wing in the district of Naushehro Feroz. She belonged to down to earth family and developed her political career working hard all through the days and nights for the party and participated actively on every call of the leadership.

In recognition of the efforts of late Shahnaz Ansari, People’s Party had awarded her reserved quota of MPA seat in Sindh Assembly in 2013. In 2018, she was again elected to Sindh Assembly on PPP’s reserved seat. She never missed an opportunity to raise her voice for her district issues. She was also vocal and vibrant on women issues and tried her level best to bring those voices to higher-ups in Sindh Assembly.

Bilawal Bhutto, Chairman PPP, expressing deep sorrow over the heinous murder of Shahnaz Ansari said that she was courageous and stood by the party decisions during highs and lows. He further said that she was an asset for the party and worked at the grass-root level.

Murder of Shahnaz Ansari leaves many questions on security situation in Sindh

This is not the first time that a serving MPA has been killed in a wicked manner, rather this is a daily norm and women suffer the most in Sindh. Mistreatment of women in their social, economic and political life is common in the patriarchal society of the province. An MPA who was considered as one of the most influential political figures in the district was murdered, in broad daylight, during the congregation of Chehlum; then what about the common women?

Read more: PPP protests as Omar Ayub purportedly calls Asif Zardari ‘Mr 10%’

The murder of Shehnaz Ansari has not only shaken the political stakeholders in the province but has also strengthened the argument that women of Sindh are born only to serve their men. Purposeful employment, economic empowerment and real political role remain denied to the common women.

Prostrating women in Sindh

Women in interior Sindh remain in awful conditions. They are barred from meaningful participation in any field of life. In interior Sindh, a woman’s role is limited to the household and she is forced to live a life of a second-class citizen. These problems can be traced back to cultural practices, gender discrimination and religious misinterpretations; whatever may be the cause the end result is a deplorable condition of women in Sindh.

The recent Human Rights Watch report points out that 132 women were murdered and 108 were allegedly killed in the pretext of honor killing. Moreover, according to the same report, 126 people, who were suspected of being involved in the ‘honour killings’, had been arrested. Challans of 81 cases pertaining to ‘honour killings’ were presented in courts while 32 are still being investigated. End result of most of these prosecutions remains inconclusive.

Read more: Honor killing in Dadu: How Karo-Kari became cultural norm in Sindh?

Given this background, will Sindh government be able to arrest and punish the murderers of Shehnaz Ansari, Naushero Feroz’s most popular woman, remains a big question – and a painful one.

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