PM Nawaz vows to eradicate honour killings after Oscar nod

Published January 15, 2016
In this file photograph taken on March 10, 2012, Oscar-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy poses for a photograph with the award during a press conference in Karachi.—AFP
In this file photograph taken on March 10, 2012, Oscar-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy poses for a photograph with the award during a press conference in Karachi.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed Pakistan would eradicate “evil” honour killings as he congratulated director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on her Oscar nomination for a harrowing documentary on the practice.

“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” which follows the story of a rare survivor, was nominated in the documentary short category of the Academy Awards on Thursday.

Hundreds of women are reportedly murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the grounds of defending family “honour”.

Their male murderers are often “pardoned” by relatives under the country's controversial Islamic blood money laws that allow murderers to escape punishment.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office late Thursday offered Chinoy, who made history in 2012 when she won Pakistan's first Oscar for another documentary, Nawaz's congratulations.

“Honour killings, the theme of the film, afflict several segments of Pakistani society,” it quoted the premier as saying.

He expressed the government's commitment "to rid Pakistan of this evil by bringing in appropriate legislation”, the statement continued, adding that Chinoy's “insights” could prove helpful.

Chinoy said on Twitter she was “delighted” that the prime minister had made the commitment.

“Next step is to push all the politicians to call a joint session & get the anti honour crime bill passed that has lapsed in parliament!” she said in a tweet.

Chinoy was feted across Pakistan in 2012 when she won the country's first Oscar for “Saving Face”, a 40-minute documentary that exposed the horrors endured by women who survive devastating acid attacks.

It focuses on two women, Zakia and Rukhsana, as they fight to rebuild their lives after being attacked by their husbands, and British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad who tries to help repair their shattered faces.

Acid attacks, which disfigure and often blind their overwhelmingly female victims, have long been used to settle personal or family scores in Pakistan, with hundreds of cases reported each year.

The attacks along with honour killings depict the state of women's rights in Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens with no legislation to fall back on in cases of domestic violence.

Opinion

Editorial

02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...
Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.