Home Global Village Yet another honor killing: This time by PML-N leader

Yet another honor killing: This time by PML-N leader


News Desk |

PML-N leader Zahid Anayat Butt Also known as Tumma Butt, in an awful incident of honor killing has murdered his niece, Laika in Gujranwala.

According to the details, Laika wanted to marry a person of her choice to which the family did not agree. Zahid Butt, along with his brother shot the ill-fated girl and buried her in a hurry in order to hide their crime. Police have lodged the case against the culprits who are on the run and a search for the accused is underway.

Why is a person like Zahid Anayat still a member of PML-N when already in 2015 he went against the law of the state? Is no crime so abhorrent that it can trump political interests?

This is not the first time PML-N leader has landed himself in hot waters. He was already on the police radar for celebratory firing in a wedding, unlawful possession of ammunition, kidnapping of a bus driver and extortion from transporters back in 2015. The police have already arrested him once for celebratory firing on the occasion of Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Tahir Cheema’s son’s wedding and as a result, his arms & ammunition were confiscated.

Honor Killing in Pakistan has grabbed international attention as the number of such heinous incidents has increased in the last few years. Majority of the cases observed occur in the middle and lower class of SES (Social Economic Status).

Read more: Honor killings: Pakistan’s continuing shame

According to the Human right watch report 2017, there are about 1000 honor killing cases every year in Pakistan.  Statistics reveal the appalling increase in the number of cases every year. 869 women died in honor-related attacks in 2013, about 1000 women in 2014 and nearly 1,100 were killed in 2015 as per the country’s independent Human Rights Commission.

The 2004 Criminal Law Amendment Act made honor killing a criminal offense, but in the majority of cases, since the victim and culprit belong to the same family, pardon and settlement (Diyat) within the family do not let the culprit face punishment for his/her crime.

In Oct 2017, Pakistan’s parliament passed anti-honor killing and anti-rape killing bills. According to the law, relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer if he is sentenced to capital punishment. However, the culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years. Implementation of the law is still to be seen.

Read more: Sharmeen Obaid’s ‘Aagahi’ will educate women on their legal rights

Worrisome in the aforementioned case is the involvement of a political figure in such matter; how can a law be implemented and practiced where leaders are the culprit of atrocious crimes like honor killing. The mindset of a society very much depends on the attitude of its leadership. Why is a person like Zahid Anayat still a member of PML-N when already in 2015 he went against the law of the state? Is no crime so abhorrent that it can trump political interests?

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