Former senator Farhatullah Babar on Thursday called for a review of the Qisas & Diyat Law so that pardon can be granted only after court’s conviction and not before it. He said this while speaking at a national consultation organised by non-governmental organisation Blue Veins on gaining support for pro-women policies and legislation at a local hotel in Islamabad. “Granting pardon before court’s conviction had only encouraged honour killings as the murderer, often a close relative of the victim, was promptly pardoned by another close relative,” Farhatullah Babar said. The time has come for drawing up a broad based Charter of Women Rights overseeing the implementation of Pakistan’s obligations under international covenants like Elimination of Discrimination against Women, he said, adding that unfortunately, the declarations by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) often militated against women. The CII, he said, rejected a draft bill for homes for the elderly, rejected the Women Protection Bill, 2006 and in March 2014 declared laws forbidding child marriage. It also declared DNA tests unacceptable. The Council, he said pronounced that seeking permission of first wife for second marriage was not Islamic. Not long ago, it first approved a draft resolution on preventing misuse of Blasphemy Law but later, faced with pressure, went back on it. In 1978, it recommended inscribing of Kalima Tayyaba and Allahu Akbar on the national flag to motivate people for jehad. He said that although a constitutional body, the Council was also merely an advisory body which had submitted a final report in 1997 and asked for a debate on its role. Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2018.