ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed Pakistan would eradicate “evil” honour killings as he congratulated director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on her Oscar nomination for a harrowing documentary on the practice.
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”, which follows the story of a rare survivor, was nominated in the documentary short category of the Academy Awards on Thursday.
Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the grounds of defending family “honour”.
Their male murderers are then “pardoned” by relatives under the country’s controversial Islamic blood money laws that allow murderers to escape punishment.
A statement from the prime minister’s office late Thursday offered Chinoy, who made history in 2012 when she won Pakistan’s first Oscar for the another documentary, Sharif’s congratulations.
“Honour killings, the theme of the film, afflict several segments of Pakistani society,” it quoted Sharif as saying.
He “expressed the government’s commitment to rid Pakistan of this evil by bringing in appropriate legislation”, the statement continued, adding that Chinoy’s “insights” could prove helpful.
Chinoy said on Twitter that she was “delighted” that Sharif had made the commitment. “Next step is to push all the politicians to call a joint session & get the anti honor crime bill passed that has lapsed in parliament!” she said in another tweet.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2016.