ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that honour killing is a despicable act and his administration has prioritised women’s empowerment and end to violence against them in Pakistan.
“There is no honour in honour killing,” he said while speaking at a special screening of a documentary of Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at the PM Office on Monday.
Premier Nawaz referred to a saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which says the most honourable man is the one who shows respect towards women. The premier expressed his firm resolve to build a progressive Pakistan by giving an equal status to women.
The screening of Chinoy’s film, ‘A girl in the river: The price of forgiveness’, which has been nominated for the 88th Academy Awards, was an initiative of the prime minister to highlight the issue of honour killing at the government level.
He said the screening of the documentary at his office was a manifestation of his government’s firm resolve to address the chronic issue of honour killing, which had nothing to do with religion.
Premier Nawaz said he was proud that a daughter of Pakistan through her art of filmmaking was contributing to the betterment of society by working on challenging themes. He commended Sharmeen for her remarkable work and wished her success in the Academy Awards to be held later this month.
Talking to journalists after watching the film, the prime minister said the society’s mindset about honour killing must be changed. He added that he was keen to provide women a level playing field in accordance with the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam.
The event was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif, Minister of State for IT Anousha Rehman and Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal Tarar, Premier’s foreign policy aide Tariq Fatemi, foreign envoys, including Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong, and human rights activists. Maryam Nawaz also joined them.
Speaking at the screening, Sharmeen said women were the greatest asset of Pakistan 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 said, women were being subjected to honour killing and acid attacks. She stressed the need for working hard together to pave the way for strong legislation against honour killing, which she termed ‘premeditative murder’.
She thanked the prime minister for his support, saying it was a laudable initiative by a true democratically elected leader.
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