The joint session of the parliament convened to show unity with the Kashmiris and against Indian aggression managed to achieve something equally important. The parliament after a long delay finally passed the much-awaited anti honor killing and anti-rape bills. The need for these bills had become a matter of utmost importance as honor related crimes skyrocketed in recent months. Both the bills, the Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 and the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Amendment Bill) 2015 have seen the light of day two years after they had been introduced by former PPP Senator Sughra Imam in January 2014, and a year after the Senate had unanimously passed them. However, it is also a matter of concern that these bills were not prioritized earlier despite the fact that honor killings have seen almost an exponential rise in the past few months. The murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch and the subsequent international coverage the murder got seemed to have woken up the parliamentarians from there slumber. The role played by Pakistan Peoples Party in getting the bills passed is also appreciable. Apart from former PPP Senator Sughra Imam who introduced the bills, Senator Sherry Rehman has also been very vocal on the issue and had on many times emphasized the importance of these bills. The anti-rape laws will finally accept DNA as primary evidence. The rape of minors and people physically and mentally ill will now be punishable by death, while police officials who attempt to put obstacles to investigations may also face a prison term. We hope that the parliamentarians will continue to work to further improve these laws.
The passage of the long delayed bills is a welcome move.