Islamabad – Former President Asif Ali Zardari has condemned the murder of model and actress Qandeel Baloch in the name of honor and called for early adoption of law against honour killings.
“Every time a woman is murdered in the name of honour and the state looks the other way, the state and society are diminished,” the PPP co-chairman said in a statement issued in Islamabad on Sunday.
His spokesperson, Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted Zardari describing “as a most despicable and unpardonable crime” wherein a woman is murdered in the name of honour by a close family member only to be immediately pardoned by other family members.
“No religion, let alone Islam, permits mala fide murders in the name of honour,” he further quoted him saying.
Recalling that an Anti Honour-killing Bill passed unanimously by the Senate in March 2015 had since been referred to the Joint Session of Parliament, Zardari called for early convening the joint session to adopt the bill.
It is strange that the bill was endorsed by all political parties including the religious parties and the PML-N in the Senate but they (government) dithered on its adoption in the last joint session of the Parliament, Zardari said, adding “this only raised questions about the motives”.
The incidents of honour killings are on the rise in the country because of the insistence by some in the name of ideology that murders even with mala fide intent are compoundable.
Resistance to making honour killing non-compoundable is not an issue of ideology but of politics pursued by those who exploit religion for political ends, Zardari said.
If all types of murders indeed were compoundable on the touchstone of ideology then crimes under the anti terror laws would not have been non-compoundable, he went on to say.
It defies logic and defiles ideology to assert that a woman can be murdered by a relative in the name of honour and the murderer is pardoned by another relative while the state helplessly looks the other way, he said.
The reluctance to adopt legislation to prevent honour killings only shows pathological disinterest to address crimes against women, the former president said.
He also reminded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of his pledge made publicly to adopt legislation against honour killing and asked him to honour his promise. Zardari also prayed for the soul of Qandeel Baloch.
GOVT REBUKED OVER
PPP Senator Saeed Ghani yesterday lambasted the anti-women policies of the PML-N government, saying those were giving rise to the incidents of violence against women.
In a statement, he said model Qandeel Baloch’s murder had shook the nation and women in particular as the girl had pleaded the interior minister to provide her security which was not provided to her which made it easier for the murderers to kill her.
He said incidents of violence against women had increased in PML-N government and in recent months several women murders have been reported. Acid throwing and torture of women have also been on the rise during this government.
He said that PML-N does not have any respect for law and people involved in Model Town massacre were roaming free.