Laws Against Domestic Violence In Pakistan Are Insufficient To Protect Victims Of Abuse

998 words - 4 pages

Pakistan is a developing country that recently (roughly fifty years ago) developed its democratic systems. The current legislature has limited power and competes with parallel systems of court. Pakistan’s unique socio-cultural frameworks need to be understood in order to ensure that liberty and justice are available to all members of society. It is in this respect that it is important to evaluate the current system of laws protecting the rights of the subjugated in a patriarchal society, therefore, the laws on domestic abuse and violence need to be understood and evaluated in attempts to make Pakistan a fairer society.

The Penal code of Pakistan does not have a separate subheading ...view middle of the document...

Once we recognize the fact that laws need to be understood within the specific framework of society we can redirect our attention to the particular forms of domestic abuse that are common in Pakistan such as cases of bride burning ( the burning of the female before her marriage if there is a belief that she has dishonoured her family by accepting a particular marriage proposal), cases of bride burning are a widespread phenomena and the Human Development Agencies in South Asia estimate that there are at least sixteen cases of bride burning in cities of Pakistan per month ( Ajmal, 2012, para.3) . Within the current political and legal structure of Pakistan. cases of bride burning go unnoticed and often unpunished because victims of bride burnings get lumped into categories of manslaughter. Any legal system that allows cases of bride burning to fall through the cracks of the legal system needs to be evaluated.

The parallel court systems within Pakistan ( the courts created due to the democratization process, the courts that adhere and implement Islamic principles -commonly referred to as Shariah courts and the tribal courts) create a confusion on the possibility of which cases to perceive as unlawful, moreover all these systems remain silent on the recognition of domestic crimes in general and as crimes of a separate category that can not be lumped with cases of third degree murder, fraud etc. For the speedy identification of cases and to ensure that cases of domestic abuse do not go unnoticed or unpunished a separate category of domestic crimes needs to be created within all systems.

Furthermore, there is a need to keep the unique cultural conditions of Pakistan when defining and outlining the ambit of domestic violence and crimes of a domestic nature. The laws need to be extended to include laws for the protection of servants, especially female servants who are usually not entitled to wage labour within the feudal set-up of Pakistani households-instead of wage labour,...

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