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ISLAMABAD, Oct 7 (APP): Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid on Friday said that laws are being simplified to ensure speedy justice to common man as per manifesto of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Addressing a press conference here at Press Information Department along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister Barrister Zafar Ullah, he said that anti-honor killing bills and anti-rape bills have been passed by the Parliament which will boost the image of the country at international level.

He said the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or on the pretext of Honor) Bill, 2016 is aimed at preventing killing of women in the name of honor by making the crime a non-compoundable offence.

It will ensure strict punishment for the convicts making it tougher than the ordinary murder cases. Under the new law the convict in honor killing cases will have to face 25 years life imprisonment even if the relatives of the victims reach an agreement with the convict and pardon him or her.

Under the existing law, a murderer can be released after the legal heirs pardon him. But the proposed legislation on honor killings recommends 25 years imprisonment even if the heirs of the victim pardon the convict.

The minister said that various loopholes have been plugged and the new laws will provide justice to victims. He said that all political parties showed unanimity and cooperated in passage of these bills. “ Legal framework is there and we’ll control crime through it,” he added.

He acknowledged the efforts of Shaista Pervez Malik, former PPPP Senator Sughra Imam as well as cooperation of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman and incumbent lawmakers of PPPP for finding out the solutions of various issues through accommodating opinion of one another.

The proposed law would be a step forward to stop honor killing as there were shortcomings in the present law, he added.

He said efforts had been made to protect women against all
kind of crimes, adding it had been policy of the PML(N) to provide due rights to women.

About another bill passed by the House the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences Relating to Rape) Bill, 2016, the minister said that it is aimed at addressing lacunas in the existing laws to improve conviction rates besides bringing the culprits within the ambit of the law.

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

To a question, the minister said that there is need to change the mindset through education and public welfare projects besides passage of these laws which is being ensured by the PML-N government.

He said that law enforcers or policemen would have to also face imprisonment if their negligence or biased approach was proved during investigation of the cases.

Barrister Zafar Ullah said that Parliament of Pakistan has taken a historical step by passing these laws. He said that many proposals about reforms in law has been forwarded to Parliament which included half of the punishment about a crime case to the complainant if he/she is involved in lodging false FIRs. He said that another proposal is also under
consideration for setting up courts in evening.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid hoped that all provinces will replicate such kind of legislation and ensure implementation on it.