ISLAMABAD - In what can be termed as an alarming situation, with every passing year the number of honour killing cases has been on the rise in the country, while conviction rate remains less than 15 per cent.

According to the official documents, 326 cases of honour killings were reported in 2014, of which 153 are still under investigation, while challan in 173 cases were sent to the relevant courts.

The documents said that conviction could be recorded in 52 cases only.

In 320 such cases registered in 2015, conviction was recorded in only 35.

Surprisingly, still 104 cases are under investigation.

Similarly, 355 cases were registered in the 2016 out of which 242 are still under investigation, while challan in 113 cases were sent to the courts.

Conviction was recorded in 28 cases only, according to official documents available with this correspondent.

As per data, increase in the number of such cases has been recorded as compared to 2014 and 2015.

According to the statistics available with the Punjab police, the number of honour killing cases recorded in the province from 2011 to 2016 was 256, 184, 275, 312, 242, and 248 respectively.

According to the Ministry of Law and Justice, 933 people were killed across the country in the name of honour during 2013-2014.

A ministry report said that a total of 456 and 477 cases of honour killing were reported in Pakistan in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The greatest number of such cases, 602 was reported from Sindh, the report said.

The predominant cause of these killings is alleged illicit relations.

The issue remains unresolved in the country as families take pride in the crime.

Still a large number of incidents do not get reported.

The culprits escape unpunished as the cases are mutually settled when the complainants, mostly relatives of the victim, forgive the killer.

When contacted, human rights activist, Sarwar Bari said that weaker laws lead to the crime.

On the causes for the alarming spike, Bari said that women had started gradually capturing space in society, which had threatened the patriarchal system.

“Women are academically performing better than men and whenever you stand for your rights, you are oppressed,” he explained. 

Bari was of the view that the government should take the matter.

Mobile courts and speedy disposal of such cases can put a check on the crime, he viewed.

Bari said that the traditional legal system was too lengthy, which favoured the accused.

“The state needs to take extra-ordinary steps to curb the crime,” he recommended.