Byline: Imran Mukhtar
ISLAMABAD -- A parliamentarian from the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf drew flak from the opposition side in the Senate on Friday when he tried to give preference to 'honour' and 'culture' to downplay the issue of 'honour killings'.
While taking part in the debate on the annual report of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) for the year 2017, Senator Aziz gave an impression to the house of supporting the honour killing when he said: 'Honour killing is an issue but honour and the culture are also important.'
He advised that women should lead their lives under the principles laid down by Islamic Shariah and also criticized non-government organisations for raising slogans on international women day that 'males should heat up their meals themselves.'
PPP Parliamentary Leader Sherry Rehman came down hard on the PTI Senator Mohsin Aziz for what she said that he (Mohsin) cited 'culture as a reason for oppressing women.'
She said: 'When it comes to women's rights, I expect all parties to adopt a bipartisan approach in the Parliament.' She added that no one couldn't justify honour killings or any other oppression, let alone condemn entire rights movements, in the name of culture.
'There shouldn't be honour killing in the name of culture, you can't refuse accepting equal rights for women in or outside homes in the name of culture,' PPP senator said and warned that no one should use the name of religion and culture when it comes to giving rights to women.
She said that Islam guaranteed women better rights in the 7th Century, which should have grown with the demands of social change. It is our fault that we have not given them freedom, equality and power that we should have by now, she said and added: 'We [women] are neither a second gender nor will we condone honour killings in this house'.
Pakistan's former ambassador to US and PPP leader said that women rights were violated regularly in their society but for a progressive party like the PPP, they formed a major component of their manifesto to give them equal rights. She reminded that women spearheaded the women's movement with an unprecedented bravery, offering invaluable sacrifices as they faced a dictator like Ziaul Haq. 'We don't fight for ourselves. We fight for those who are without privilege or power as honour crimes are mostly faced for those living in deeply vulnerable situations, in rural or tribal areas, having no access to even lawyers.'