Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s documentary wins Oscar

Nawaz says there is no place for honour killings in Islam


President, PM, others felicitate; Nawaz says there is no place for honour killings in Islam

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who made history by winning Pakistan’s first Oscar four years ago, has won the best documentary short Oscar for her film, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”

The 40-minute film tells the story of 19-year-old Saba who was beaten, shot and thrown into the river after she ran off to marry her fiance, whom her family initially accepted – and then decided was too poor.

The 37-year-old filmmaker, who read about her ordeal one morning in the newspaper, tracked her down and filmed Saba’s story over eight to nine months in 2014. In Pakistan, the law allows the perpetrators of so-called honour killings to get off scot-free if they are pardoned by their family.

Saba initially seeks a conviction, but eventually relents under the weight of pressure from her brother-in-law and community elders who say it is better to resolve enmity than let it fester.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wants to change that. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hosted a screening of the film in Islamabad last week and has promised to rid Pakistan of the crime by tightening up the legislation.

President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday congratulated Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on winning her second Oscar. The president said that Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has highlighted an important social issue in her film for which she deserves congratulation.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also congratulated Sharmeen on winning the Oscar for the second time.  According to the Prime Minister Office (PMO), Nawaz Sharif while lauding the efforts of Sharmeen said that there is no place for killing in the name of honour in Islam. The prime minister further said that his government is in the process of legislating to stop such brutal and inhumane acts in the name of honour.

He said women like Sharmeen are not only a pride for the Pakistani nation but are also a significant source of contribution towards the march of civilisation in the world.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan in a message on micro blogging website twitter congratulated Sharmeen, saying it is a great achievement and proud movement for Pakistan.

The Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and chairman Bilawal Bhutto also felicitated Sharmeen. They said Sharmeen is a brave and conscientious woman who has been working and highlighting sensitive subjects which are denigrating Pakistani society. They said it is unfortunate that such crimes still occur in 21st century. They said these acts are against Islamic teachings and no society in the world can permit such crimes to continue.

Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid said Sharmin had become the pride of Pakistan by winning an Oscar for the second time. In a statement, the minister said that the award was recognition of her talent and her deep commitment against injustice and oppression against women.

With jubilations across the nation as another daughter of Pakistan did the country proud, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs too stepped in to congratulate Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for winning the Academy Award for her documentary.Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi congratulated the Pakistani film-maker, as soon as the award was announced saying, “It was a matter of pride for the nation that a daughter of Pakistan had yet again achieved this distinction which was a source of inspiration for all Pakistani women.”

He appreciated the invaluable contribution made by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for promoting the concept of rights of women in Pakistan through her art, by drawing attention to socially challenging issues.

The spokesman in a statement said that it was time to recall the remarks of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had “stressed that there was no honour in honour-killing, and had emphatically reiterated the government’s unequivocal resolve to ensure women’s rightful place in society, as well as to bring an end to violence against women”. Fatemi expressed the hope that Chinoy will continue to use her art for bringing meaningful change in the society.