Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) plans to pass long-delayed legislation against “honor killings” within the coming weeks in the wake of the headline-grabbing murder of outspoken social media star Qandeel Baloch, said Maryam Nawaz Sharif , daughter of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Wednesday.

The bill will go before a parliamentary committee as early as Thursday, she said.

The law will remove a loophole in Pakistan’s Criminal Code that allows other family members to pardon a killer, local media reported.

The government is under mounting pressure to pass a law against murders carried out by those professing to be acting in defense of their family honor.

Maryam said the government wanted to pass the law unanimously and had been negotiating with religious parties in parliament.

“We have finalised the draft law in the light of negotiations,” she told a foreign news agency in an interview.

“The final draft will be presented to a committee of the joint session of parliament on July 21 for consideration and approval.”

Maryam said once the parliamentary committee approves the bill, it would be presented for a vote in a “couple of weeks” before a joint session of parliament.

In related news, the brother of social media star Qandeel Baloch has been arrested in connection with her strangling and told a news conference that he had been incensed by her often risque posts on social media.