ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday said the government was plugging loopholes in existing laws to end honour killings in the country.

He was talking to renowned social activist and filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy who called on him here at the Prime Minister House.

“Social evils can be overcome through an effective partnership between the government and the civil society,” the prime minister told Sharmeen.

Prime Minister Nawaz termed honour killings as a critical issue and said his government was determined to adopt all measures to “remove this stain from the society.”

“Women are the most essential element of our society and I believe in their empowerment, protection and emancipation for a prosperous and vibrant Pakistan,” the prime minister said.

Prime Minister Nawaz said the customs and practices like honour killings, have nothing to do with the divine principles of Islam. He said it was Islam which first recognised the rights of women.

He said the social reforms brought in by Islam, altered the course of history for all times to come.

“The revolution brought by Islam in the world manifested through the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the most successful movement for change of social reforms which has altered the course of history for all times to come. It was Islam which first recognised the rights of women.”

The prime minister said loopholes in the existing laws would be plugged in consultation with the stakeholders.

The prime minister announced that the premiere of Chinoy’s documentary nominated for the 88th Academy Awards - A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness - will be held at the Prime Minister’s Office on February 22, a statement from the PM House said. The prime minister also wished Sharmeen success in the Academy Award for her film.

A Girl in the River, which is a joint production of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC) Films and Home Box Office (HBO), follows the life of an 18-year-old girl who is a survivor of an honour killing attempt.

Sharmeen, who won Pakistan’s first Academy Award for her documentary ‘Saving Face’ at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012, thanked the PM for supporting her endeavours to end honour killings in the country and revive a progressive image of Pakistan.

Sharmeen said she was proud that the prime minister has taken a leading role to address the issue of honour killing in the country.

The filmmaker also appreciated the role of Maryum Nawaz in helping the government achieve its goals in the sector of education.

The meeting was also attended by Maryum Nawaz and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi.