ISLAMABAD: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has condemned the murder in the name of honor of model and actress Qandeel Baloch and called for early adoption of law against honor killings. “Every time a woman is murdered in the name of honor and the state looks the other way the state and society are diminished”, the former President said in a statement on Sunday. Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted Zardari describing “as a most despicable and unpardonable crime that a woman is murdered in the name of honor by a close family member only to be immediately pardoned by other family members. No religion, let alone Islam, permits malafide murders in the name of honor, he said. Recalling that an Anti Honor killing Bill passed unanimously by the Senate in March 2015 had since been referred to the Joint session of Parliament Zardari called for early convening of joint session to adopt the Bill. It is strange that the Anti Honour Killing Bill was endorsed by all political parties including the religious parties and the PML-N in the Senate but they dithered on its adoption in the last joint session of the Parliament, Zardari said adding “this only raised questions about the motives”. The incidents of honor killings are on the rise in the country because of the insistence by some in the name of ideology that murders even with malafide intent are compoundable. Resistance to making honor killing non compoundable is not an issue of ideology but of politics pursued by those who exploit religion for political ends, the Spokesperson quoted Zardari as saying. If all types of murders indeed were compoundable on the touchstone of ideology then crimes under the anti terror laws would not have been non-compoundable. It defies logic and defiles ideology to assert that a woman can be murdered by a relative in the name of honor and the murderer is pardoned by another relative while the state helplessly looks the other way, he said. The reluctance to adopt legislation to prevent honor killings only shows pathological disinterest to address crimes against women, the former President said. The former President also reminded the Prime Minister of his pledge made publicly recently to adopt legislation against honor killing and asked him to honor his promise. Zardari also prayed for the soul of Qandeel Baloch.