Laws against Domestic Violence in Pakistan

Domestic violence is not specifically recognized as crime on its own in Pakistani law. At least it is not recognised as a crime in those words exactly. There are many elements involved in the crime of domestic violence, as is discussed in the definition given above. While domestic violence is not specifically recognized, the different elements involved are to a certain extent covered by the law in Pakistan.

In fact, a number of these elements have been recognized by a few courts in their judgments as a form of domestic violence. The relevant provisions of law are varied and wide but all contain elements of domestic violence or can be interpreted to include domestic violence, as has been done so internationally. Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.

The law identified below has been categorized into different categories in order to put it into some context. It is important to remember some of the law may overlap. It is also important to remember that although the legal provisions may not be immediately obvious but the interpretations of these laws and potential interpretations are relevant to the categories they have been placed in. Short introductions are given with the categories to give them some perspective.

Provisions of Law:


These acts are not just merely preparatory and ancillary but are in fact offences on their own. It is important to include those who abet the main perpetrator. This is important in situations of domestic violence due to the connivance or acceptance or omission to act of other members in the domestic relationship and/or shared household. The provisions relating to the different forms of trespass have been included here although they are serious offences on their own. These offences are usually the first step in the commission of a crime. They are included in domestic violence crimes as there are a large number of cases where the wife may try to leave the husband and the husband tries to get her back or trespasses in order to commit an act of violence against her as a form of revenge

Pakistan Penal Code


Abettor: A person abets an offence, who abets either the commission of an offence, or the commission of an act which would be an offence, if committed by a person capable by law of committing an offence with the same Intention or knowledge as that of the abettor..

Explanation 1: The abetment of the illegal omission-of an act may amount to an offence although the abettor may not himself be bound to do that act.

Explanation 2: To constitute the offence of abetment it is not necessary that the act abetted should be committed, or that the effect requisite to constitute the offence should be caused.


Attempt to commit qatl-i-amd: Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances, that, if he by that act caused qatl, he would be guilty of qatl-i-amd, shall be punished with imprisonment for either description for a term which may extend to ten years [but shall not be less than five years if the offence has been committed in the name or on the pretext of honour], and shall also be liable to fine, and, if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall, in addition to the imprisonment and fine as aforesaid, be liable to the punishment provided for the hurt caused: provided that where the punishment for the hurt is qisas which is not executable, the offender shall be liable to arsh and may also be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years.


Criminal trespass: Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property, or, having lawfully entered into or upon such property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or annoy any such person, or with intent to commit an offence, is said to commit “criminal trespass”.


House-trespass: Whoever commits criminal trespass by entering into or remaining in any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place for worship, or as a place for the custody of property, is said to commit “house-trespass”. Explanation: The introduction of any part of the criminal trespasser’s body is entering sufficient to constitute house trespass.


Lurking house-trespass: Whoever commits house-trespass having taken precautions to conceal such house-trespass from some person who has a right to exclude or eject the trespasser from the building, tent or vessel which is the subject of the trespass, is said to commit “lurking house-trespass”.


Lurking house-trespass by night: Whoever commits lurking house-trespass after sunset and before sunrise, is said to commit ‘lurking house-trespass by night”.


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