Tirst the good news: This past fortnight, two historic landmark bills regarding honour killing and rape were passed by a special parliamentary body to ensure women’s and minors’ rights. Under the new law, the victims of honour killings “would only be able to pardon the killer of capital punishment, but he/she would regardless face a mandatory life sentence of twelve and a half years.” In the anti-rape bill, “a provision to conduct DNA tests on both the alleged victim and perpetrator has been added for the first time. The rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, will be punishable by death,” the Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said to the media. These bills are the culmination of tireless efforts of all women activists since Independence, who have each contributed in their own way, for acknowledgement of our rights. In the forefront are Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, documentary maker of Oscar-winning Saving Face about acid attack victims, for bringing worldwide attention to the plight of women in Pakistan, ex-Senator, Ex-MPA of Punjab and ex-Punjab Minister for Social Welfare, Sughra Imam for drafting and tabling both the bills as well as ex-Chairperson of PM’s Youth Wing Mariam Nawaz Sharif for getting the bills passed in Parliament. Last but not least is the late social media star Qandeel Baloch who in her death managed to have the last laugh. Like it or not, from a scantily clad wanna-be she has gone down in Pakistan’s history as the woman whose murder by her brother served as the catalyst for these much needed reforms. Let’s see how well this new law is now implemented.
Now the bad news: At a wildlife safari park near Beijing, China, a family outing turned gruesome. A typical husband and wife quarrel was taking place in a car. The wife was so engrossed in fighting with her spouse that, flouting the rules, she got out of the car while a tiger was freely roaming nearby. The tiger lunged at her and mauled her. Her poor mother, taking care of the couple’s child in the backseat, quickly got out to save her headstrong daughter and was killed by the wild beast, the tiger, in the process. Such are spousal battles; no one really wins, except anger and regret. To mitigate the almost daily news of copycat terrorist attacks perpetrated by young Muslim men the world over, we take you back to what seems like a simpler time in retrospect – 1968 when, after the previous year’s Six-Day Egyptian-Israeli war, the worst offence committed by a young Muslim man that made global headline news was Omar Sharif carrying on with the very Jewish Barbra Streisand during the filming of box office and critical hit Funny Face. And to make you feel even better, GT is resplendent with fabulous shoots of Emirati It girl Tamara Al Gabbani, as well as local hottie Sikander Rizvi. We have everything from the Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza in Berlin to on-trend flats, and from Sanie Bokhari’s boundary pushing paintings to tips on buying a standout men’s suit. Enjoy!