ISLAMABAD: Women’s rights NGO Aurat Foundation has launched a pilot study on honour killings in Pakistan, which focuses on legislation to counter the trend.
The study was launched on Wednesday under the foundation’s Legislative Watch Programme for Women Empowerment. Norwegian ambassador to Pakistan Cecilie Landsverk was the chief guest at the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, the foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Naeem Ahmed Mirza stressed on the need to look into the hindrances in implementation of the law against honour killings that was passed in 2004.
Lawyer Maliha Zia, who has authored the report, said that a lack of data from courts, available consolidated data, categorisation of FIRs and reluctance of people to comment on incidences of honour killings are the main hurdles towards the implementation of the law.
The study shows that many cases that were highlighted in the media were not reported with police. In other cases, if they were reported they were not classified as honour killing. “The language used in the FIRs is not gender-sensitive. Courts also usually issue verdicts against the victim by using the provision of grave and sudden provocation,” Zia said.
She said that one of the greatest factors that hinder compliance of the law is the fact that most honour crimes are committed by family members and the ‘unwillingness’ of the family to lose another family member. “Therefore, most cases end up as forced compromises.”
Lastly, Zia said, responsible institutions lack the commitment to implement the law.
Women’s rights activist Tahira Abdullah said that almost 77% of honour killing cases end in acquittal of criminals.