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Parliament to vote on "honor" killing, anti-rape laws

Hamza Rao 12:52 AM | 22 Jul, 2016
Parliament to vote on
ISLAMABAD - A committee comprising lawmakers from both the lower and upper houses of parliament unanimously approved two bills on Thursday - both of which can be voted on within weeks - in a bid to tackle the menace of honor killings and boost rape convictions.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid announced that the bills would soon be voted on by the parliament.

Thursday’s development came just six days after social media starlet Qandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother, an incident which once again brought attention to the large incidence of honor killings, which claim around a thousand lives in Pakistan every year.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz said that the two pro-women bills would be discussed in a special parliamentary committee meeting.

Under Pakistan's existing criminal law, perpetrators of honor killings – in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative – often walk free because they can seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member.

Rape conviction rates, meanwhile, are close to zero percent, largely due to the law’s reliance on circumstantial evidence and a lack of forensic testing.

Hamid, who chaired the committee, said: “We have plugged all loopholes in the anti-honor killing legislation, which will be put up for approval at a joint sitting of parliament soon.”

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ruling PML-N party has a large majority of seats in the lower house and the bills are believed to have enough backing from opposition parties to pass in the Senate too.

A 2005 amendment to the law pertaining to honor killings prevented men who kill female relatives pardoning themselves as an “heir” of the victim.

But punishment was left to a judge’s discretion when other relatives of the victim forgive the killer – a loophole which critics say is still being exploited.

According to Hamid, under the new law relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer of capital punishment, but they would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.

In the anti-rape bill, “a provision to conduct DNA tests on both the alleged victim and perpetrator has been added for the first time,” he said.

Rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, will also become punishable by death.

Commenting on the move, Sughra Imam, a former senator from the opposition Pakistan People’s Party who first tabled both bills, said: “No law will eradicate a crime entirely but the law should be a deterrent. Laws are supposed to guide better behavior, not allow destructive behavior to continue with impunity.”

Hamza Rao
Hamza Rao

Hamza Rao is a member of the staff at Daily Pakistan. He can be reached at raohamzafree@gmail.com. He tweets at @HamzaRaoxxx

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 1, 2023 (Wednesday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 269.9 272.85
Euro EUR 290.22 290.82
UK Pound Sterling GBP 330.48 331.18
U.A.E Dirham AED 72.78 73.08
Saudi Riyal SAR 71.23 71.53
Australian Dollar AUD 190 193
Bahrain Dinar BHD 702.68 710.68
Canadian Dollar CAD 201.75 205
China Yuan CNY 39.15 39.55
Danish Krone DKK 38.6 39
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 33.72 34.07
Indian Rupee INR 3.24 3.35
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 865.31 874.31
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.24 62.84
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.35 173.35
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.76 27.06
Omani Riyal OMR 686.49 694.49
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 72.58 73.28
Singapore Dollar SGD 201.2 203.2
Swedish Korona SEK 25.45 25.75
Swiss Franc CHF 286.19 288.69
Thai Bhat THB 8.06 8.21

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs202,000 on Wednesday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs173,190.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs164,500 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 179,100.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Karachi PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Islamabad PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Peshawar PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Quetta PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Sialkot PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Attock PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Gujranwala PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Jehlum PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Multan PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Bahawalpur PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Gujrat PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Nawabshah PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Chakwal PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Hyderabad PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Nowshehra PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Sargodha PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Faisalabad PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390
Mirpur PKR 202,000 PKR 2,390

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