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Pakistan: `Revamp, implement horror killing laws`

Last Updated: Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 15:40

Karachi: Civil society and human rights activists, legislators and lawyers in Pakistan have expressed their dissatisfaction with the ``horror killing`` laws and demanded to make them powerful, besides ensuring their implementation.

In a seminar organised by the Aurat Foundation (AF) to recommend amendments in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2004, the law relating to horror killings, Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi said the horror killing law, drafted in 2004, has not led to actual change, reports the Daily Times.

The civil society welcomed the recognition of horror killings as an illegal and heinous offence in the 2004 law. However, they said that the law did not go far enough to actually combat the practice.

Legal and Gender Consultant Maliha Zia stated that despite the imposition of the 2004 law on horror killings, a numbers of murders on the pretext of ``honour`` have occurred in great numbers with impunity. The law still allowed for compounding of cases in horror killings and is ineffective, she said. She said the AF had formed a committee of lawyers to examine the law and to recommend amendments for its effectiveness.

"The courts have also manipulated the already weak law in favour of the perpetrators, not indicting jirgas, panchayats and illegal parallel systems that met out punishments such as horror killings," she added.

"The amendments focused on the division of horror killings incidents from horror crimes; a more details definition of horror killings and the inclusion of the definition of horror crimes; making incidents of horror crimes and horror killings non-compoundable and ensuring that the courts take notice of the facts and evidence of the case before allowing compromise," said Justice (r) Shaiq Usmani.

Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly expressed her full support for the cause and said, "Resolutions had been passed in the Sindh Assembly stating that horror killing are murders and should be given no excuses or justifications."

She also said that after the budget session, the Sindh Assembly would pass a domestic violence bill.


First Published: Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 15:37
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