Thursday, March 03, 2005
The Pakistan government has allied with Islamists to reject a bill which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of "honour killing". The parliament rejected the bill by a majority vote on Tuesday, declaring it to be un-Islamic. Honour killing is the name given to murders where the offender claims the victim, usually a woman, had brought his family into disrepute. Under the so-called Islamic legislation enacted by General Zia ul Haq, Pakistan's Islamist military ruler in the 1980s, proven killers could seek or buy pardon from the victim's family under the Islamic principles of compromise. Observers say that it has been grossly misused and has contributed directly to an alarming increase in the practice of "karo-kari" or the so-called honour killings. Karo-kari is a tradition whereby a man can kill a woman, claiming that she brought dishonour to the family, and still expect to be pardoned by her relatives.