It was demanded at a provincial consultation meeting on “Proposed Amendments in Honour Killing Law” organised by Aurat Foundation held here Friday. The purpose of the consultation meetings was to highlight the criminal law (amendment) act 2004, otherwise known as the ‘honour killings act’, which was promulgated after the murders of thousands of innocent girls and women and after the demands and struggle from different segments of society for a legislation to provide protection to citizens, especially women and girls; to make illegal and criminalise all murders committed under the name of ‘honour’; and to punish the perpetrators, aiders, abettors and supporters of these crimes. However, the Act falls short of providing actual protection to survivors/victims and ensuring punishment for the perpetrators and supporters of this heinous crime. The amendments mostly deal with the Qisas and Diyat provisions in the PPC, but have left some major lacunas, which have, in effect, rendered the law useless.
Justice Retired Nasira Javaid Iqbal while addressing the meeting said that if the murder will be treated as lawful in the society the cases of honour killing; collective rapes and other un-human steps like karo kari will be considered legitimate right of man dominating society. She said that increase ratio of honour killing in Pakistan is highly deplorable adding that it’s a prime time for law enforcing agencies and legislators to make effective efforts to eliminate un-human incidents. She called upon the government to restore the local government system for effective implementation of laws at grass root level. She also said that police officials should be provided training and awareness about the new laws of investigations regarding adoption, murder, honour killing, acid throwing, stove burning, rape and discriminatory laws that will help minimize the honour crime incidents in the country.
Legal Expert and Advocate of Supreme Court Hassam Qadir Shah proposed amendments in honour killing and highlighted the various aspects of honour killing law. He said that after the change in the law, the entire basis of the trial, conviction and sentencing of an offender against the human body has undergone substantial change. Above all, the new law introduces a profound change in the conceptualization of the role of the State. He said now direct control over serious offences concerning the person does not lie with the State. He said that in Islam the individual victim or his heirs retain from the beginning to the end, entire control over the matter including the crime and the criminal. He said that they may abandon prosecution of their free will, they may pardon criminal at any stage before the execution of the sentence. They may accept monetary or other compensation to purge the crime and the criminal. The state cannot impede but must do its best to assist them in achieving their object and in appropriately exercising their rights. Moreover, under Islam a husband who suspects his wife of misconduct it counselled merely to divorce such a wife.