Islamabad, October 7: The Parliament in Pakistan passed two crucial bills on Friday, making curb ‘honour murders’ and also punish rapists by using DNA tests. The bill that was initially put forth by Senator Sughra Imam was collectively given nod by Senate sometime back and subsequently moved in the Joint Sitting of the Parliament by Senator Farhatullah Babar on the expiry of Imam's term in the Senate.
It happened so that the existing law allowed the murderer of a woman to go free as the killing was claimed to be under the name of honour and the murderer was pardoned by another close relative of the victim. Under the new law relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer if he is sentenced to capital punishment. However, the culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.
Law Minister Zaid Hamid said, “The perpetrator of the crime will also be medically examined after this bill is turned into law. The verdicts in the rape cases will have to be given within three months, with the right to appeal in six months. The police station will be obliged to inform the victims of their legal rights. We have made it mandatory that the culprit must be imprisoned for 25 years.”
No law will eradicate a crime entirely but the law should be a deterrent, they are supposed to guide better behaviour, not allow destructive behaviour to continue with impunity, opined the former PPP senator Sughra Imam. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement said, “I congratulate the Parliament, the NGOs, civil society, academia, media and all those who worked hard and supported us in the passage of this legislation.”
The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan stated that around 1,100 women were murdered by their own family members in the year 2015 in the name of Honour killings. Although this is the figure that is registered and there are many such death cases which are not even reported.