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Murder in the name of honour

Another Oscar nod for Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who first hit the screen in 2012 with Oscar winning documentary “Saving Face”; stirring up media storm over the issue of acid attacks.

Following in her own footsteps, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” won the Academy Award for best documentary on Sunday at the Oscars ceremony. The film is about a 19-year-old girl Saba, who fell in love and eloped. To her dismay, she was beaten, shot, dumped in a gunny bag and thrown into a river. Miraculously, she survived to tell her story.

Violence which is term as honour killing is not a new phenomenon. In Pakistan it is not considered a crime. People sleek over when wives, daughters and sisters are killed in the name of honour. Victims think registering a case will bring bad name to their families hence hundreds of these cases go unreported.

Frivolous attitude of legislators and law enforcing agencies is also a major contributing factor that needs to be changed. It’s heart breaking to see people haul criticism at Sharmeen relentlessly. They can’t see A Girl in the River as anything but damage to Pakistan’s positive image.

The documentary is a complex narrative of feelings, cultural knots, suffering, survival and retrieval. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a film maker who plays the role of a storyteller highlighting the issue at hand which was ignored or hidden.

It’s ironic how someone is rebuffed and insulted on the grounds of rectifying Pakistani society. Her film brings it out in open a heinous crime, a premeditated cold blooded murder. She was disparaged for presenting the deep and dark aspects of our community

Face it! We need to change the context of our reasoning. Lurking behind positive façade won’t help. It’s about time that we identify the evils and strive for the solution. Time to own the truth and do something about the imminent threats!

To begin with, start with calling this practice a murder rather than sugar-coating it with “honour killing.” It is murder. Full stop!

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif boldly stated that honour killing is reprehensible. I applaud his gesture for further taking it into consideration. His move to watch the screening at his residence and firm commitment to make strict amendments in the legislation deserves appreciation.

I am not sure what Oscars mean to us, but I am all over them if they have motivated our country to pass a bill that guarantees protection and safe haven to the daughters of this nation.  There is no compromise in that!

Thank you Sharmeen for bringing this issue to limelight and making us realize that it is a crime people should be imprisoned for. Very well deserved award; way to go lady. We respect you!!!

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Faiza Hassan Gillani is a freelance writer based in Rawalpindi. Masters in mass communication, her areas of interest are social issues and human rights. She also writes short fiction stories.



    Sidra Insar

    March 6, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Agreed, Sharmeen Obaid Deserved this Oscar, Murder in the name of Honour is becoming a major issue, Even Islam allows you to marry anyone you want if you are adult, They do it in the name of Religion, But negatively is in Our Blood and we relate it to the Religion we own.



    April 16, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. This is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.


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اس ویب سائٹ کا مواد بول پلاٹون کی آفیشل رائے کی عکاسی نہیں کرتا. مضامین میں ظاہر معلومات اور خیالات کی ذمہ داری مکمل طور پر اس کے مصنف کی ہے