On 25 March, 2012 a frail woman jumped out of the sixth floor of her aprtment in Rome and killed herself. She was 33 year old Fakhra Yunnas. Her story commenced 15 years back when she was a dancing girl in the red light district from Karachi. Fakhra was seen by the scion of the Governor of Punjab, who married her after a whirwind romance though he was married twice earlier and was double her age.
The marriage turned sour and Fakhra left her husband after repeated physical abuse by him. The husband had his revenge by going to her
house and pouring acid on her face. The husband was tried for the crime, but as was from a powerful family and rich as well, he was acquitted. The poor Fakhra had no where to go and
the Pakistan government washed its hands of the affair. This is when the Italian government stepped in and took respnsibility of Fakhra. She was taken to Rome for treatment.
Even at that time in 2000 many in Pakistan opposed Fakhra's going to Rome as they felt it will give a bad name to Pakistan. Fakhra was operated 12 times in Rome, but her face was so badly burnt that she felt disheartened. With the perpetuator of the crime going scot free, she was further demoralized. In this state of mind she committed suicide. This case has brought to the fore the extreme gender bias in Pakistan. Though the Paistan government has mandated a automatic 14 year jail term for a man convictedof an acid attack,yet it will have to seen whether cases like Fakhra will bring solace and justice to women.