Jirga assailed for approving honour killing: Kite ban bill approved
PESHAWAR, May 06 2006: The provincial assembly adopted on Friday a bill prohibiting kite flying in the NWFP along with three amendments proposed by the governor. Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Abdul Akbar Khan cast the only vote against the amendments. The assembly had passed the bill during its previous session on April 4, but the governor had returned it for reconsideration and proposed the amendments. Abdul Akbar, opposed reconsideration of the bill.
Speaker Bakht Jehan Khan, who was presiding over the session, laid the three proposed amendments one-by-one in the house, and lawmakers of the ruling Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal alliance voted for their incorporation in the bill. Speaking on the admissibility of an adjournment motion, Minister for Population Welfare Kashif Azam said the government would take action against people who had justified honour killings at a tribal jirga. He said the murder of anybody in the name of honour was un-Islamic and repugnant to the law of the land.
MPA Farah Aqil Shah of the Awami National Party, who had tabled the motion, said some councilors, Nazims and tribal elders had organized a tribal jirga in Upper Dir a few days ago and endorsed murders committed in the name of honour and decided not to lodge FIRs in such cases. She said the action was tantamount to creating a state within a state in the name of outdated tribal traditions. She said it was an insult to humanity to allow someone to kill innocent people on any pretext.
Nighat Yasmin Orakzai of the Pakistan Muslim League drew the attention of the chair to what she called indifference of male MPAs towards an important issue. She said the male legislators kept on talking with each other ignoring the speeches made on the issue by women MPAs. Naeema Kishwar of the MMA said that honour killings had nothing to do with Islam. She said the brutality was being committed in rural areas of the country.
Nasreen Khattak of the PPP (Sherpao) said that people used honour killings to settle scores with their political or tribal rivals. She said that only cowards would support the culprits involved in such murders. She said the term itself was absurd because killing could never be an act of honour. After assurances given by the treasury that an FIR would be lodged against people who attended the so-called jirga, the mover didn’t press the motion.
Earlier, speaking on a point of order Anwar Kamal Khan of the PML (N) told the house that the provincial government had stopped releasing of development funds under the Tameer-i-Sarhad programme to his constituency. Calling it an act of political victimization, he said he would never beg for funds. The government, he said, had suspended his cousin, a tehsil nazim, because he (Anwar) had inaugurated a stadium in the area.
Mr. Khan said the government had earlier accused his cousin of leading a procession against the government, but neither the district coordinating officer (DCO) nor district nazim not even the area police, had any complaints against him. He said the act of political vendetta negated Mr. Akram Khan Durrani’s claim that every MPA was chief minister of his area.