Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-(Nawaz) plans to pass the much delayed legislation against “honour killings” within weeks in the wake of the murder of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch.
Maryam said on Wednesday that the bill will go before a parliamentary committee as early as Thursday, reports the Dawn.
Passing the law would remove a loophole that allows other family members to pardon a killer in cases of ‘honour killing’.
Maryam said the government wanted to pass the law unanimously and had been negotiating with various religious parties in parliament.
“We have finalised the draft law in the light of negotiations. The final draft will be presented to a committee of joint session of parliament on July 21 for consideration and approval,” she said.
She added that after the parliamentary committee approves the bill, it would be presented for a vote before a joint session of parliament.
A spokesman for Jamaat-i-Islami, one of the two major religious parties in parliament, said his party would not oppose the bill.
However, the Council of Islamic Ideology, which advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam, warned that it would not support any law that removed the forgiveness loophole, even though the council considers honour killings a crime.
“Islamic law and the Koran say that the right to forgive or punish lies first and foremost with the victim’s family. So if this bill is trying to completely take away that right from the family, then of course that is against Islamic teachings,” said council spokesman Inam Ullah.
The religious parties and the council hold significant influence over public opinion and the government fears a backlash if any law passes without their approval.