Such is the state of the fragile male ego, for some men.
MULTAN, Pakistan - Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year old stepsister to salvage his family's "honor" â€” a crime that shocked Pakistan.
The 40-year old laborer, speaking to The Associated Press in police detention as he was being shifted to prison, confessed to just one regret â€” that he didn't murder the stepsister's alleged lover too.Yes, a crime worse than murder: getting a little nookie on the side.
Ahmed's killing spree â€” witnessed by his wife Rehmat Bibi as she cradled their 3 month-old baby son â€” happened Friday night at their home in the cotton-growing village of Gago Mandi in eastern Punjab province.
It is the latest of more than 260 such honor killings documented by the rights commission, mostly from media reports, during the first 11 months of 2005.
Bibi recounted how she was woken by a shriek as Ahmed put his hand to the mouth of his stepdaughter Muqadas and cut her throat with a machete. Bibi looked helplessly on from the corner of the room as he then killed the three girls â€” Bano, 8, Sumaira, 7, and Humaira, 4 â€” pausing between the slayings to brandish the bloodstained knife at his wife, warning her not to intervene or raise alarm.
"I was shivering with fear. I did not know how to save my daughters," Bibi, sobbing, told AP by phone from the village. "I begged my husband to spare my daughters but he said, 'If you make a noise, I will kill you.'"
"The whole night the bodies of my daughters lay in front of me," she said.So why did he do it?
Appearing disheveled but composed, he said he killed Muqadas because she had committed adultery, and his daughters because he didn't want them to do the same when they grew up.
He said he bought a butcher's knife and a machete after midday prayers on Friday and hid them in the house where he carried out the killings.
"I thought the younger girls would do what their eldest sister had done, so they should be eliminated," he said, his hands cuffed, his face unshaven. "We are poor people and we have nothing else to protect but our honor."Obviously this man is deranged. But of course he's but one of 260 murderers documented.
"Women are treated as property and those committing crimes against them do not get punished," said the rights commission's director, Kamla Hyat. "The steps taken by our government have made no real difference."