A bill to remove the provision in Pakistani law that allows a victim’s family to pardon his or her killer will be introduced on Thursday, Maryam Nawaz Sharif — a member of her father’s ruling party — was quoted as saying by Reuters. She added that the government wanted to pass the law unanimously, and are negotiating with religious parties in Parliament.
Another bill that also passed the first hurdle yesterday would boost rape convictions.
The vote should take place within a couple of weeks.
According to Hamid, under the new law relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer of capital punishment, but they would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.
In the anti-rape bill, “a provision to conduct DNA tests on both the alleged victim and perpetrator has been added for the first time”, he said.
Rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, would become punishable by death.
Those aren’t perfect bills by any means, and it’s unclear if they’ll deter future crimes. After all, if you’re willing to kill a family member in the name of preserving honor, going to jail or being sentenced to death only makes you more of a martyr. But at least the government is doing something.
“Honor killings,” for once, will finally be punished under the law. It only took the death of a celebrity to make it happen.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)