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ISLAMABAD: With as many 675 women being killed in Pakistan in the name of “honour” this year, the Inter Provincial Coordination Ministry (After the devolution of the Ministry of Sports in June, 2011, the administrative control of the Pakistan Sports Board has transferred to Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination) has decided to declare ‘honour kiliing’ as the national sport of Pakistan.

Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Federal Minister for Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination,  said that with the Allied Forces exiting Afghanistan soon, the sport could flourish. “The Afghans were the champions and their ‘expertise’ could be utilised for the promotion of the game”, he said.

Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Federal Minister for Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination

Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Federal Minister for Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination

He regretted that hockey always lacked the element of marketing. For honour killing, whips and knives will be sold as merchandise. A museum of honour killing would be established to honour those who had saved their honour without any dishonour.

The controversial women’s protection bill will also be scrutinised for any loopholes to facilitate the excitement of the game.

Experts will present honour killing cases, largely dismissed by police as private family affairs.

The minster said “In a country where a total of 675 women and girls were killed in the name of honour from January to September 2011, the new national game would attract the attention of the majority, who are obsessed with religion and saving their honour.”

As 71 victims were under the age of 18, an under-18 team will also be formed.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is unauthorised to speak to the media, said figures were still being compiled from October to December, and that a full report would be released in February 2012.

The Human Rights Commission reported 791 honour killings in 2010 and there was no discernible decrease this year, the official added.

Around 450 of the women killed from January to September were accused of having “illicit relations” and 129 of marrying without permission.

As some victims were raped or gangraped before being killed, a hardcore version inspired from the Taliban could be introduced for advanced players.

The minster said that it was pure family entertainment, as at least 19 victims were killed by their sons, 49 by their fathers and 169 by their husbands.

Ministers in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and Baluchistan have hailed the decision and Imran Khan has also voiced his support and claimed that it was also part of the ‘change’ he wants to give to the people of Pakistan. STAFF REPORT