Saturday, 31 March 2012


HORRIFIC....Fakhra Younus before and after the horrific attack.

A PAKISTANI woman left fighting for life by a 'horrific' acid attack has committed suicide a decade after being heavily facially disfigured.

Fakhra Younus, 33, a former dancer, leapt to her death from a sixth floor building in Rome 12 years after the acid attack which she said left her looking 'not human'.

At the time of her attack in May 2000, her ex-husband Bilal Khar was the man accused of entering her mother's house and pouring acid over Younus's face as she slept.

The attack, which took place in front of Younus's then five-year-old son, left her unable to breathe and fighting for life.

Her nose was almost completely melted and she has since undergone 39 separate surgical procedures to repair her disfigured face over the past decade.

The horrific attack also burned off her hair, fused her lips, blinded her in one eye, destroyed her left ear and melted her breasts.

After being rushed to hospital she said, "My face is a prison to me", while her distraught young son said at the time, 'This is not my mother'.

The mother-of-one moved to Italy after the incident to live in Rome and continue her treatment.

But on March 17 she took her own life, after leaving a message saying she was committing suicide over the silence of law on the atrocities and the insensitivity of Pakistani rulers.

Bilal Khar was arrested in 2002 and charged with attempted murder following the attack, only to be released on bail after five months.

Khar, an ex-parliamentarian and son of a wealthy Pakistani governor, was eventually cleared of the attack, though many believe he could have used his family connections to escape conviction.

After Younus's tragic suicide emerged earlier this month, Khar continued to deny having any part in the attack - claiming in a television interview a different man with the same name had carried out the crime.

Younus's ex-husband Bilal Khar, the son of a wealthy Pakistani governor, was cleared in 2003 of charges relating to the attack

Younus's ex-husband Bilal Khar, the son of a wealthy Pakistani governor, was cleared in 2003 of charges relating to the attack

Khar claimed his ex-wife killed herself because she didn't have enough money, not because of her horrific injuries.

More than 8,500 acid attacks, forced marriages and other forms of violence against women were reported in Pakistan in 2011, according to The Aurat Foundation, a women's rights organization.

The Pakistani government introduced new laws last year criminalising acid attacks and stating that convicted attacks would serve at least 14 years in jail.

Tehmina Durrani, the ex-wife of Bilal Khar's father, had become an advocate for Younus after the attack, and said the acid attack victim had pledged to bring her attacker to justice when she had recovered.

Durrani said: "She said, 'When I come back, I will reopen the case, and I'll fight myself'", adding that she was a fighter.

Durrani said Younus' case should be a reminder that the Pakistani government needs to do much more to prevent acid attacks and other forms of violence against women, and also help the victims.

"I think this whole country should be extremely embarrassed that a foreign country took responsibility for a Pakistani citizen for 13 years because we could give her nothing, not justice, not security," said Durrani. (Daily Mail)

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