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Pakistan passes anti-honour killings and anti-rape bills

Updated Oct 07, 2016 12:16pm


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ISLAMABAD: A joint session of the Parliament unanimously approved anti-honour killing and anti-rape bills moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar on Thursday.

The legislation on honour killings will introduce strict punishment for the convicts making it tougher than the ordinary murder cases.

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.

Before moving the Anti-Rape Bill, Babar informed the joint session: "The bill will prove to be effective in curbing rape cases across the country."

Debating during the session, Law Minister Zaid Hamid revealed that 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," he added.

"The police station will be obliged to inform the victims of their legal rights," Hamid said, adding, "We have made it mandatory that the culprit must be imprisoned for 25 years."

The DNA samples collected shall be at the earliest sent for investigation to a forensic laboratory whereat these shall be properly examined and preserved.

— Text of the bill

He further said that rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, has also become punishable.

Former PPP senator Sughra Imam, who had initially tabled both bills, said: “No law will eradicate a crime entirely but the law should be a deterrent. Laws are supposed to guide better behaviour, not allow destructive behaviour to continue with impunity.”

Dasti downplays importance of bills

Speaking during the joint session, Jamshed Dasti lamented the introduction of bills saying that the session had been called to discuss the matter of Kashmir but it has been overshadowed.

“Indian forces are standing on the border, hundreds of our soldiers are injured and many have embraced martyrdom. There was no point of bringing up this bill today. We had to send a message to our enemy, but this bill has overshadowed it,” he said.

This Parliament has been subdued by the American NGOs and their Jewish agenda, which is against Pakistan.

He also lamented that “today even 5th graders are aware of sex education”.

If anyone talks about Islam and Quran, people possessing no knowledge of the religion pass decree on it to pander to the international terrorist America.

Nawaz vows to ensure implementation of the legislation

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to ensure the “implementation of the legislation across the country” as he congratulated the Parliament and entire nation on the passage of a bill providing for strict punishment on honour killing.

“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,” Nawaz said in a statement.

He said that honour killing was one of the most critical problems that Pakistan had been facing and the government was determined to adopt all possible ways to remove this stain from the society.

“We have succeeded in our efforts today; there is no honour in honour killing,” the prime minister remarked.

“We will make it sure to fully enforce this legislation across the country as we did during its passage from the Parliament. Women are the most essential part of our society and I believe in their empowerment, protection and emancipation so that they can equally contribute towards development and prosperity of our country,” he reiterated.

Also read: Loopholes persist in 'honour killing' bill

In July, days after the 'honour' killing of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch, a committee comprising lawmakers from both the lower and upper houses of parliament unanimously approved two bills aimed at tackling 'honour' killings and boosting rape convictions.

The perpetrators of honour killings – in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative – often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.

Rape conviction rates meanwhile are close to zero per cent, largely due to the law's reliance on circumstantial evidence and a lack of forensic testing.

The law minister had earlier said, "We have plugged all loopholes in the anti-honour killing legislation."

In the anti-rape bill, “a provision to conduct DNA tests on both the alleged victim and perpetrator has been added for the first time”, he said. The rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, would become punishable by death.

A 2005 amendment to the law pertaining to 'honour' killings prevented men who kill female relatives pardoning themselves as an "heir" of the victim.

But punishment was left to a judge's discretion when other relatives of the victim forgive the killer – a loophole which critics say is exploited.

Rights groups and politicians have for years called for tougher laws to tackle perpetrators of violence against women in Pakistan and the move follows a slew of high-profile killings in the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling PML-N party has a large majority of seats in the lower house and the bills are believed to have enough backing from opposition parties to pass in the senate too.


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Comments (68) Closed

The end is near Oct 06, 2016 06:42pm

Nothing will happen.

just_someone Oct 06, 2016 07:28pm

A good start, people currently argue there are no laws to convict... now, law enforcement should be ensured

Kahn Oct 06, 2016 07:42pm

Not surprised that this bill is not moved by a member of a religious party. Our religious parties will stand for all the Muslims outside Pakistan but remain silent on the social issues within Pakistan.

Fehmida Abdul Sattar Oct 06, 2016 07:43pm

The law lacks an aspect under which if someone falsely alleged anyone of rape, so what punishment will that person be enjoined with for misusing the law. Secondly, what steps will be taken to bar the person who really commits adultery, will it be that a person is free to commit adultery and if he/she is forced to refrain, the barring person will be punished?

Harmony-1© Oct 06, 2016 07:45pm implement it vigorously!

Chursy Oct 06, 2016 07:44pm

A step in the right direction. Now lets talk about implementation, implementation and implementation.

By the ay on the following point, I am surprised that it was not already a punishable crime. In my opinion this should be a more serious offence. "He further said that rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, has also become punishable."

ADD Oct 06, 2016 07:49pm

It only took 69 years to come up with the bill.

Agha Ata Oct 06, 2016 07:49pm

Nobody wants to do anything. I don't know why!

ADD Oct 06, 2016 07:51pm

@Fehmida Abdul Sattar Adultery is consensual in the most part. Quite different from rape which not consensual at all. Apples and oranges.

Muzaffar Ali Oct 06, 2016 07:55pm

Good start....Also punish those who incite people to commit the crime for "honor".

They should be called to court and punished severely!

Muzaffar Ali Oct 06, 2016 08:01pm

Pakistan is getting wiser.....Maryam Nawaaz must be given credit for this.....I am no fan of her father but her contribution in this must be lauded.

rita Oct 06, 2016 08:01pm

Proud of you all. Crimes against women can only bring society down. A society which cannot respect women is not a society that can progress.

Duniya Hasan Oct 06, 2016 08:24pm

About time

Rohit Oct 06, 2016 08:51pm

After a long time I feel like saying - well done Pakistan!

Mohammed.A Oct 06, 2016 08:55pm

Seriously, you have to push for an anti-rape bill?

Ahsan Gul Oct 06, 2016 08:57pm

Mr. Dasti has a point about this session and he is right. If this session was for Kashmir and on the border skirmishes issue then why anti-rape and honor killing bills were discussed and passed. Parliament must stick to the called agenda even a man who has nothing to do with meetings can tell you. Sincerely

sultana Oct 06, 2016 09:03pm

If a convict uses honor killing as defense, automatic sentence of 12 years should apply. If he pleads not guilty for honor killing, then he/she should be tried as a murderer and honor defense should not be allowed. This would stop all honor killings.

Omar Oct 06, 2016 09:38pm

Definately a step in the right direction!

Omar Oct 06, 2016 09:40pm

If you have nothing good to say then dont say anything at all. Its people who have self-negating views and comments that often do more harm then good for the betterment of our country and society.

aziya Oct 06, 2016 09:48pm

we also need a genuine and honest anti terror bill

Jigar USA Oct 06, 2016 10:06pm

Just like to reiterate a comment that a pakistani politian made. "Laws are made to be broken" in pakistan.

bharath Oct 06, 2016 10:12pm

A big thumbs up to the Pakistani parliament for passing these bills. Hope the police would help in implementing them with earnest.

Faisal Oct 06, 2016 10:42pm

Better late then never.

Khany Oct 06, 2016 11:07pm

Now more needs to be done on corruption and Law should also treat the citizens as same as leaders. No one should look at a Wealthy person and treat them above the Law specialy Nawaz Sharif. This is where Pakistan is going all wrong. Comparing to other nations Pakistan is probably top 10 most corrupt countries in Asia.

Ram Oct 06, 2016 11:24pm

This Reminds of Waqar Younis Hatrick, in One day Pakistan civil government challenged military,spoke against Hafeez Syed and now anti honor killing bill, Pakistan Zindbad - from India

Ritesh Oct 06, 2016 11:26pm

Kudos to lawmakers for passing these important bills!

Dr.shamir Baloch Oct 06, 2016 11:36pm

Today I really felt to be a civilised and proud Pakistan after passing this long awaited bill.

Parvez Oct 06, 2016 11:38pm

Good first step...... but laws are useless they are acted upon.

rauf Oct 06, 2016 11:48pm

will it ever be implemented?

khanm Oct 07, 2016 12:07am

What we need to preach is that there is no honor in any killing.

ZahidUSA Oct 07, 2016 12:07am

Thumbs up to politicians. Good Job. Next Bill passed should be regarding the rights of minorities. Feel happy to be a Pakistani today. God Bless Pakistan.

ASH Oct 07, 2016 12:32am

Pakistan is positively changing. If it keeps itself on this road, will again restore its respect back in no time.

pk Oct 07, 2016 12:38am

These laws were needed in civic society.

KJ Oct 07, 2016 01:09am

Welcome for trying to enter into civilization... Is this how we should be viewing this? This is a basic human right, and human decency, which should not require for any laws to be passed to make it illegal. This should be a guaranteed human right, as part of the constitution.

molajutt Oct 07, 2016 01:19am


sajjad akbar Oct 07, 2016 01:25am

Good move subject to proper implementation.

Omar Oct 07, 2016 01:36am

@Ahsan Gul ...He also said "subdued by the American NGOs and their Jewish agenda" which leads me to believe that he is just another spineless politician who would rather distract the masses than make the difficult decision he was elected to do.

Ali Hassan Oct 07, 2016 02:07am

a big step, at least a beginning in the right direction, maybe few women's lives will be saved . The bigger task is implementing it . so that women feel safe in their home and their country

Ahsan Ali Oct 07, 2016 02:13am

Proof is when the loop closes around the necks of the cowardly murderers of women, who don't consider women individuals with free will, but their personal property and slaves.

flipflop Oct 07, 2016 02:18am

Lets just keep religious parties out of this and implement these bills as soon as possible. Secondly, stop blaming everything on US and Jews and perhaps step out of your utopia that our politicians have created and we will see that most of the problems stems from our actions. When we value worldly things more like money and wealth we start to disregard how precious life is and we will kill anyone for the sake of it. Nawaz and all our politicians are not competent enough to lead a country. They are all business men not leaders.

Erum Oct 07, 2016 02:37am

The relatives of the victim can can STILL pardon the killer. Shame

Arif Zaman Oct 07, 2016 02:59am

Finally something is being done. Hopefully this is implemented to the fullest.

Mango man Oct 07, 2016 03:44am

A bill which is at least a couple of decades late. Better late than never, I guess.

Good samaritan Oct 07, 2016 03:56am

Excellent progress. Kudos to Pakistan and it's people for doing the right thing.

L.Ahmad Oct 07, 2016 03:57am

Bills will not save the victims as long as immoral, dishonest & corrupt officials are there to implement them.

illawarrior Oct 07, 2016 04:05am

A good start. Now make sure it is enforced.

illawarrior Oct 07, 2016 04:11am

@sultana An "honour killing" is still murder.

tarik Oct 07, 2016 04:58am

Great news started coming from Pakistan. Good news for the world

Pyasa Oct 07, 2016 05:27am

It is high time you give up tribal traditions!

Farouq Omaro Oct 07, 2016 05:54am

Good job

Me Oct 07, 2016 05:57am

Welcome step. One good news in long time.

brr Oct 07, 2016 07:18am

the very fact that killing and rape had to be declared a crime in 2016 says something about the society

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Oct 07, 2016 08:14am

Panama leaks are also a big problem and worst thing to happen to our country also.. This bill is amazing to see finally passing!

cricket lover Oct 07, 2016 08:18am

Congratulations to our nation. Passing of this bill was long awaited. Killers in the name of honor and for the sake of fake honor and rapist must face death sentence regardless of victims being minor or adult. The next bill which is in line is the approval of the construction of Kala bagh dam.

cricket lover Oct 07, 2016 08:23am

@Fehmida Abdul Sattar They talked about DNA test. There will not be any loop hole if law is fully abided by and implemented well in the line of legislation by the officials.

Jahaalatmaar Oct 07, 2016 08:55am

@The end is near It has already happened but the quick implementation needs to be ensured.

Sooba Bhatti Oct 07, 2016 09:00am

This is good step, but if our police pay positively role , people will get Justice and Peace...........

Chris Roberts Oct 07, 2016 10:03am

This is long overdue - so many precious lives senselessly taken away. The government must truly honour its commitment to fully implement these laws. Qandeel has done more for Pakistan than she ever could have imagined.

Sara Oct 07, 2016 10:17am

Good move. Let's see if it is implemented.

Oad Oct 07, 2016 10:21am

it took 69 years on passing bills on such major issues. Wow!!

Nabila Bhatti Oct 07, 2016 10:40am

The Pakistan People's Party usually leads the progressive legislation. This is the reason, I admire this party. Although there are still lacunae in this law but a step in the right direction.

Iftikhar Bhutta Oct 07, 2016 10:57am

It is historical step by parliament to empowering women rights against so called killing in the name of honour . All the member of parliment ho contributed in this move are appreciable . Special notes of thanks to PPP female parliamentarians who submitted bill and got approved after long constitutional efforts. After passing this bill Pakistan outlook will improve in world civilised society regarding women rights . It seems that PMLn is trying to get rid from its orthodox ideology .

Azeema Faizunnisa Oct 07, 2016 11:10am

Thanks @ADD for your response to Fehmida.

jammin Oct 07, 2016 12:10pm

who will implement though is always the question.

Zulfi Oct 07, 2016 12:18pm

Good job. Now implement it in letter

Bills and laws are useless if they do not facilitate justice

Nuzhat Oct 08, 2016 07:10pm

A good move

Nuzhat Oct 08, 2016 07:12pm

A good move

Nuzhat Oct 08, 2016 07:13pm

A good move .