Pakistani man dismembered in honor killing

by Jared Lewis July 22, 2016, 3:42
Pakistani man dismembered in honor killing

Pakistan's parliament will on Thursday debate bills aimed at tackling so-called honour killings and amending its rape law, officials said, following the murder of a social media star last week. While under Pakistani law, the victim's family can pardon the killer (which often happens if victims and killers are related), the state has barred Baloch's family from doing so, and her father is pressing forward with murder charges.

She added that the government wanted to pass the law unanimously, and are negotiating with religious parties in parliament.

More than 500 people, nearly all women, die in so-called "honour killings" in Pakistan each year - usually at the hands of relatives acting on perceived shame brought on the family.

Born Fauzia Azeem, Baloch was drugged and strangled to death by her brother for posting sexy, raunchy photos and videos on social media, something considered abominable in a deeply conservative Muslim country like Pakistan.

Pakistan's other principal religious political party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, can not be reached for comment but it's just a few seats in parliament.

An Activist of Awami Workers Party chants slogans during a demonstration to condemn the killing of model Qandeel Baloch and against honor killing, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, July 18, 2016.

The killing of Baloch has triggered fresh calls for legislation to amend Pakistan's criminal code, which allows murderers to avoid jail by seeking forgiveness from a victim's relatives-a convenient means of escape particularly in honor killing cases.

Speaking to Pakistan's Geo TV, Baloch's mother asserted that her son was inspired to kill her daughter by Mufti Abdul Qavi, who had been removed from an influential position on a Pakistani Islamic board following his meeting with Baloch.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hailed the film and vowed, in February, to push through anti-honor killing legislation. "You will see in the coming days more will be done, big changes will be announced". The 26-year-old had used her very public images and appearances to say what was on her mind, to strut her stuff, to be herself.

Many viewed her as a disgrace to the cultural values of Islam and Pakistan. Prior to her death, it was uncovered that Baloch had been married at 17 to a man she claimed was abusive-she reportedly had a son with him-and supposedly was separated from her second marriage.

Although it seems that government officials are confident of backing the bill in parliament, it could encounter resistance. As the murder is officially a crime against the state, the family can not forgive the murderers. In a confession statement to police, her brother said, "Money matters, but family honor is more important".

"I am hopeful that this law will pass but the change in mindset will talk so much longer".

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy examined the phenomenon of honor killings in an Oscar-winning documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.


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