Govt given 6 months to outlaw honour killings
ISLAMABAD – Women right activists, parliamentarians and civil society members on Friday staged a protest demonstration in the federal capital against honour killings and condemned the military rulers , feudal-lords and religious elements for obstructing enactment of a law in this regard.
They gave a six-month deadline to the government to approve the bill on honour killings pending in the parliament. Hundreds of women rights activists from across the country gathered in front of the Parliament House and criticized the government and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) for not approving a bill against honour killings and protecting, what they called, the culprits brutalizing women in the name of honour.
Citizens Action Group Against Honour Killings (CAGAHK) organized the protest rally that started from China Chowk and culminated in front of the Parliament House. participated in the rally.
The action group is the representative organization of scores of civil society organizations working throughout the country, mainly for the emancipation of women.
Led by Asma Jahangir, an eminent women rights activist and UN rapporteur, parliamentarians from both the ruling and opposition parties also joined the march and pledged their support for the passing of the bill.
The protesters were holding placards carrying the names of the women who had been killed in the name of honour, Karo-kari and other such inhuman traditions elsewhere in the country.
Throughout the march, which lasted for around two-and-a-half- hour, they kept on condemning the military junta, landlords, mullahs and all those sections of the society which favoured honour killings.
Asma Jahangir termed the rally the start of an historical movement for women rights, which will continue till they were given their basic rights. Criticizing President Gen Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz for supporting the religious parties and the feudal-lords on honour killings, she said: “We will not allow this muk-muka culture in the country.”
“The military rulers and their tactics are not new to us, and we are ready to offer sacrifices as we have done in the past. We will keep on uncovering their real faces behind which they exploit the innocent people of this country,” she added.
In the end of the march, they set a deadline of six months for the government to approve the bill. The rally also issued a memorandum demanding the parliament to enact a strong and effective law to eliminate killings in the name of so-called honour.
Those who spoke on the occasion included Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Syed Iqbal Haider of PPPP, Mehnaz Rafi of PML, Naeem Mirza of Aurat Foundation, Farzana Bari a woman activist.