According to a senior official, the constitutional body responsible for advising the legislature on the compatibility of laws with Islamic sharia is most likely going to endorse a proposed law against honor killings in the country.
Once the draft on the Honor Killing Bill 2016 is presented before the parliament, a formal announcement will be made by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), stated the official who works at the council’s secretariat.
Requesting to remain anonymous, the official said “Apparently, a parliamentary panel has already addressed the reservations voiced by the CII,” adding that “I think the council’s objections have been taken care of.”
The CII has already condemned crimes committed in the name of honor. Nevertheless, it has debunked one of the clauses in the proposed law which it deems repugnant to Islamic injunctions.
The clause recommends that honor killing be declared a non-compoundable offence. However, the CII says eliminating a ‘compromise’ between the accused and the victim’s family is un-Islamic because it is accepted in sharia.
Abdullah, a CII member maintained that honor killing has been accepted as a compoundable offence in the proposed bill but it will be the responsibility of the judge hearing the case to either accept or reject a compromise “which is good”.
Having also served as chief secretary of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Abdullah claims the judge ought to have the power to decide whether or not a compromise is admissible.
“The judge will have to make sure the compromise has not been reached under duress by the accused party.”
While serving as chief secretary, Abdullah had encountered several cases where due to coercion or bribery with money, the victim’s family accepted a compromise. In such cases, the judges had no option but to accept it.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, who has been significant in advocating for the proposed law, said that the perceptions of Islamic scholars and clerics have been considered by the parliamentary committee that has drafted the bill. “We have satisfied them [Ulema],” he added.
Regarding a proposed 25-year jail sentence for honor killing cases, Senator Babar was of the opinion that the law would not grant any remission to the convict during his or her imprisonment. “The convict will not be entitled to any remission and he/she will have to complete 25 years in jail.”
Certain legal experts believe that the provincial governments will have to make alterations to their jail manuals in order to deprive the right of remission to the convicts of honor killing offence. Abdullah, however, sees no need for any amendment to be made to the jail manual in order to deny the convicts remissions. “All it needs will be an executive order.”