Way back in 1970, I received a wedding card from my Baloch contractor. The card had two names printed, both males. One was that of an uncle, the other of his nephew. I looked hard, but could not find the name of the brides. When I asked, I was told, "Among the Baloch, if a male outsider gets to know the name of any of their wives, mothers or daughters, it's considered a heinous sin. The outsider and the woman whose name he knows are frequently killed". I thanked Allah that I was not born among such people.

But now, this practice is almost universal, even among my relatives. I asked one of them and he said, "It's Arab culture". In the first place, Pakistanis are not Arabs, and in the second, if it's due to Arab culture, why are names of females found in the Holy Koran and the Hadith? Even obituaries of women don't state their names. Usually, the deceased woman is referred to as "wife of...." or "mother of.....".

I thought of something else. The name of the bride is stated as "daughter of....". What happens if the man has more than one daughter, as is usually the case? How will people know which daughter the wedding card is referring to? And again, what do they do when going abroad (for Haj, etc)? When applying for visas, do they simply write "daughter of ....." or "mother of....". 

This is the kind of thing that makes Muslims appear backward and illiterate, but Pakistanis simply don't understand this.