Fakhra Younus

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Fakhra Younus (Urdu: فاخرہ یونس‎; 1979 – 17 March 2012) was a Pakistani woman who was the victim of an acid attack, which severely injured her face. She underwent 39 surgeries during a 10-year period.[1] She committed suicide at age 33.


Younus was a dancer in a red-light district in Pakistan,[2] when she met her future husband, Bilal Khar, the son of Ghulam Mustafa Khar, who himself is a former Governor and Chief Minister of Pakistan's largest province, Punjab. They were married for three years, with Younus eventually leaving him after she claimed he physically and verbally abused her. She further claimed that he later visited her in May 2000 and poured acid on her, in the presence of her 5-year-old son from a different man.

Khar claimed that the attacker was someone else with his name. He was acquitted of all charges in the incident. Younus was sent to Rome, Italy, for treatment by Tehmina Durrani, Khar's stepmother.[3] Initially she was denied a visa, but under public pressure, she was allowed to leave for Italy.[4] Durrani engaged the Italian cosmetic firm Saint Angelic and Italian government to treat her. Smile Again, an Italian NGO head by Clarice Felli entered Pakistan to assist in the care of mutilated women.[5]

Younus committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, Italy. Her body was brought back to Pakistan by Durrani, and was wrapped in an Italian and Pakistani flag. The funeral prayer of Younus was held at Edhi home in Kharadar. She is buried at Karachi, Pakistan.[6]

The acid attack, trial, and suicide have received international attention, in relation to a high incidence of such acid attacks in Pakistan (8,500 in 2011), and due to a documentary on the subject, Saving Face, having been awarded the nation's first Oscar less than a month prior to her suicide.[2][7][8][9]