Islamabad-Elimination of discrimination against women constitutes a top priority of the government to ensure that they have their rightful place in the society, said the State Minister for Law and Justice.

Zafarullah Khan, who is also the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Law and Justice, met with UK Special Representative for Gender Equality, Ms. Joanna Roper, on Wednesday at the Ministry of Law and Justice.

They discussed on the issue of women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Talking to the representative, Zafarullah stressed that women in Pakistan play a pivotal role in the development and prosperity of the country. He highlighted that the reserved seats for women representatives in the National Assembly, have contributed to the political empowerment of women.

Zafarullah Khan also threw a light on the issue of honour killing in the country. He said that the government was committed to eliminating this inhuman practise against women.

In this regard, the government has passed anti-honour killings and anti-rape bills. The bill guarantees a prison sentence of 25 years to the perpetrators of honour killing and also strips families of the right to legally pardon the perpetrators, a practice that has allowed the murderers to walk free.

“We have also criminalised early and forced marriages”, added the minister.

The state minister further said that Pakistan and the UK enjoy deep-rooted relations, based on shared history, experiences, and their emphasis on equality.

“This relationship between two countries not only serves our national interests but also contributes to stability in our region and beyond. Pakistan considers UK a close ally and wishes to keep the strong relations intact”

UK Special envoy Joanna Roper appreciated the SAPM for his commitment to protect the human rights and promote gender equality.