A UN committee charged with promoting women's rights expressed concern over an increasing number of reported "honor killings" in Pakistan and criticized the country for failing to adequately address the trafficking of women.
Members of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women questioned Pakistan's sincerity in tackling the issue of the extrajudicial killings, asking why they appear to be rising even after a new law aimed at banning them was passed in 2004.
"Have all the criminals guilty of these murders been prosecuted?" asked Maria Regina Tavares da Silva, a committee expert from Portugal, according to transcripts of the meeting obtained this week. "There is leniency and tolerance toward this crime."
The committee was meeting to review the progress of countries that have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Since 1979, 185 countries have acceded to it, pledging to implement laws to end discrimination against women.