This dissertation considers whether the provision of the Islamic law of qisas and diyat in Pakistan is justifiable in light of how it is employed to evade punishment for honor killings, thereby producing an environment in which the freedom of women, and men, is severely limited.

This research paper first examines the law itself, and its historical and religious context, to demonstrate why it has persisted. Second, it evaluates the inadequate attempts to curtail honour killings, the considerable shortcomings of these reforms, and the contemporary relevance of qisas and diyat—if any—in the modern criminal justice system. Finally, this dissertation identifies the issues central to honour killings, such as the institutional biases at the heart of law enforcement and the judiciary, the inferior position of women in Pakistani society, and the tribal structures that perpetuate honour killings—all in the context of human rights and by studying the significant body of case law on the subject. In light of the findings, the issues detailed, and the areas that have been highlighted for reform, this dissertation concludes that the current model of qisas and diyat is unjustifiable and in immediate need of change.

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