Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Wednesday that there is no honour in wounding, killing or maiming women.
“There is no honour in any crime. Laws of forgiveness, when used by the strong and wealthy, are not to become instruments of injustice,” said Bilawal.
He added that equal rights necessitate equal treatment by the law.
Referring to the anti-honour killing and the anti-rape laws, the PPP chairman said that laws have been changed and formed, but it is a small step in the right direction.
“It is a step in the right direction, but it still does not go far enough.”
“It is up to my generation to find the solutions. The problem is we can not do it alone. We know how dangerous and controversial such topic gets,” added Bilawal.
The PPP scion said the PPP has not received justice for the murder of Benazir Bhutto, and questioned how people are to get justice for the crimes committed by violent men.
“We will make a commitment, that every girl and women is the future Benazir of Pakistan. we have to make sure what happened to Benazir Bhutto does not happen to any other girl or woman,” said Bilawal.
“If we can not protect the women, the mothers and sisters in our lives, who can we protect?”
He said if any one dares to harm our sisters (women of Pakistan), then we will take it as a challenge to our honour and we will not let them get away with it.
We not only have to change our laws, we also have to change our hearts and minds, he added.
Bilawal added that the male members of the society need to know that such behaviour and attitudes will not be tolerated, and such people will be treated as the pariahs that they are.
Earlier, a joint sitting of both houses of parliament passed two key pro-women bills that had been pending assent for a long time.
The Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 were originally piloted by PPP legislator Sughra Imam and passed by the Senate in March 2015. However, since they were not taken up by the National Assembly in time, the bills lapsed.
Thereafter, the only way to secure their passage was in a joint sitting of parliament.
Although the bills remained in cold storage for quite some time, parliamentarians were jolted out of their lassitude when a number of horrific incidents of women-burning came to light in quick succession in June; Maria Sadaqat in Murree, Ambreen in Abbottabad and Nazia Hameed in Kasur. These were followed by the shocking honour-killing of social media personality Qandeel Baloch by her own brother.