The United States has welcomed the passage of a bill against the so-called “honour killings” as an important step towards protecting women and girls in Pakistan.
In a message of support that also stresses the need to discourage such practices across the globe, State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that the legislation was passed unanimously, showing a consensus in Pakistan over dealing with such social issues
In a statement, US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said, “The United States welcomes the parliament of Pakistan’s unanimous passing of legislation against the so-called ‘honour killings’. We commend the efforts of the government of Pakistan to end this practice,” he said.
“This legislation is an important step toward protecting women and girls in Pakistan and promoting their full participation in society.”
The spokesman stated that raising social awareness and holding perpetrators accountable are critical next steps, and the United States will continue to support Pakistan’s efforts.
The anti-honor killing bill mandates life imprisonment for those who kill women for the so-called “honour-killing”, mostly by the family members.
The State Department, which regularly reports on violence against women and girls around the globe, also emphasised the need to work with law enforcement organisations for advancing accountability.
Supporting civil society’s efforts, and engaging with critical stakeholders, particularly men and boys, would help discourage such practices, the statement added.
The bill, which failed to gain traction when it was first introduced in March, was passed unanimously by parliament on Thursday.
The US media, while reporting the positive development, pointed out that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly supported the move, reminding his nation after Thursday’s vote that “there is no honour in killing”.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar told CNN that now “no murderer will be able to walk away free even if his parents or family members forgive him for killing his sister, wife or mother in the name of honour”.
Parliament also passed another bill that would make it easier to convict rapists with the help of mandatory DNA testing.