NGOs demand law to end honour killings -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NGOs demand law to end honour killings

ISLAMABAD – Several Non-Governmental Organisations from all across the country on October 3, held a protest rally in the federal capital and demanded of the government to urgently enact a strong and effective law to stop killings in the name of “honour”.

The rally was organised by “Citizen Action Group”, and people from Peshawar, Mardan, Multan, Sialkot, Lahore and other cities. The rally started from China chowk and ended in front of Parliament House.

Participants included human rights activists, lawyers and parliamentarians, who held banners and placards inscribed with slogans against honour killing, karo kari, panchayat, and also against the political leaders who favour such laws.

The participants said that despite the claims by the government no action has been taken to prevent the murder and maiming of thousands of women in the name of so-called honour.

They said that Pakistan has not upheld commitments it has made at international forums, which included signing and ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of all form of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

They said that according to official statistics 4,101 people have been killed in the name of honour during past six years, while thousands such cases have not been properly reported.

While addressing the rally Women’s Rights activists Asma Jahangir said that despite pledges to introduce new legislation against “honour killing” and debates on various bills tabled in parliament women are being be killed, maimed and battered.

She said that women should be given equal rights as enjoyed by men, and discrimination against women needs to be urgently abolished.

She said that civil society gave lot of time to government for legislation in favour of women and added that now they have no option except to protest countrywide.

Asma said that Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) government in NWFP and Chief Minister of Sindh should abstain from violating women’s rights in their provinces.

Addressing the gathering Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan said unfortunately, in our society we consider women as a problem but in fact he added women is solution to all problems.

Ahsan further said that government must enact acceptable laws and ensure their effective enforcement.

He said that they would fight for the rights of women in and outside the parliament.

Senator Iqbal Haider from PPPP pointed out that laws are enacted to kill the women in the name of “honour” which was really shame for leaders of any civilised society.

Afrasiab Khattak renown human right activist and ANP leader said that today we were mourning those women who have been killed in the name of honour and said the people who consider women as a property must face legal, moral and social action.

Mehnaz Rafi MNA said that they were fighting for the rights of women in and outside the parliament.

Source: Business Recorder

Date:10/9/2004