ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that killing in the name of honour is a despicable act, adding that his government’s priorities included eliminating violence against women by empowering them.
Speaking at the launch of a documentary by Oscar award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on Monday, he expressed the resolve to ‘build a progressive Pakistan by giving an equal and respectable status to women’.
Ms Chinoy’s latest documentary, ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’, which has been nominated for the 88th Academy Awards, was screened at the PM office to highlight the issue of so-called ‘honour killing’.
Mr Sharif said the launching ceremony was a manifestation of the government’s resolve to address the issue of honour killing, ‘which has nothing to do with religion’.
He recited a saying of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) that ‘the most honourable man is the one who shows respect towards women’.
“There is no honour in honour killing,” he said, adding that he was proud that a ‘daughter of Pakistan’ through the art of filmmaking was contributing to the betterment of society by working on challenging themes. He praised Ms Chinoy for her remarkable work and wished her success in the Academy Awards to be distributed later this month.
Talking to journalists after watching the film, the prime minister said the society’s mindset about honour killings must be changed. The issue needs to be highlighted at different platforms to create awareness among the masses.
Mr Sharif said he was keen to provide women a level-playing field in accordance with the vision of the Quaid-i-Azam for the development and prosperity of country.
Ms Chinoy said women were the greatest asset of the country with their diverse potential ranging from scaling highest peaks of the world to proving their mettle in sports, or working strong as parliamentarians, lawyers and scientists.
Despite all these strides, she deplored, women were being subjected to honour killing and acid attacks. She called for collective efforts to pave the way for strong legislation against honour killing, which she termed as “premeditated murder”.
Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2016