About time

Pakistan’s PM vows to change laws in effort to ban “honor killings”

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. ( LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

A searing documentary about a woman who survived an attempted “honor killing” could be the final straw in Pakistan rewriting laws to banish the extreme practice. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that the so called “honor killings” allowed by extreme interpretations of Sharia Law are on the way to becoming fully illegal after Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy‘s latest film was shown in the nation’s capital, Islamabad. “This is totally against Islam and anyone who does this must be punished and punished very severely,” Sharif said in an interview with The Guardian following a screening in which several top government officials watched the film. “Changing the law is something that needs to be done at the earliest possibility,” he added.

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness chronicles the plight of Saba Qaiser, a teenage girl in Pakistan, who fell in love with and married a man thereby defying family orders to enter an arranged marriage. Her father and uncle drove her to a river’s edge, beat her, shot her in the head, stuffed her into a sack, and dumped her body into the water. Only Saba didn’t die. She managed to free herself from the bag and make it back to land. The film also follows her quest for justice.

Emma Hardy

Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. (Emma Hardy)

According to estimates, about 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year for “bringing shame” to their families in numerous ways. Obaid-Chinoy, the only Pakistani to ever win an Oscar, said, “Before we can change mindsets we have to send the guilty to jail so people begin to understand that taking someone’s life is a big deal and merits a lengthy jail sentence.” She appeared onstage at the Women in the World New York Summit last year.

Read the full story The Guardian.


Horrifying personal stories underscore pervasive rape problem in Pakistan

More than half of Pakistan’s teenage girls believe domestic violence justified

Documentary highlights brutal honor killing case in Pakistan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *