Pakistan’s Prime Minister has approved in principle a law on chemical castration of rapists.
Former cricket captain and Pakistan premier Imran Khan yesterday approved the law which would also fast track sexual assault cases, according to local reports.
The decision was made during a federal cabinet meeting but no official announcement has yet been made by Pakistan’s government.
It was made after the law ministry presented a draft of the anti-rape ordinance at the meeting.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan (pictured) yesterday approved in principle a law on chemical castration of rapists, according to local reports
According to GeoTV, Kahn said in the meeting: ‘We need to ensure a safe environment for our citizens.’
He said the legislation would be clear and transparent with strict enforcement by officials.
The draft legislation will increase women’s role in policing and improve witness protection.
Kahn said rape survivors will be able to register complaints without fear and will have their identities protected by the government.
Pakistan has harsh sentences for rape but convictions are rare in the country where sexual and gender-based violence towards women is pervasive. Pictured: A woman holds a placard during a protest in Lahore after a woman was raped outside of the city and police appeared to blame her for the attack [File photo]
Member of the Senate of Pakistan Faisal Javed Kahn yesterday said: ‘Strict punishments against wild beasts abusing children and women, special policing, fast track cases, protection of witnesses and victims, data bank of rapists, quick and expeditious investigations and other points have been drafted.
‘Will be implemented soon to be approved by Parliament.’
Earlier this year on September 14, he Tweeted: ‘Rising incidences of child and female abuse.
‘The harshest punishments for abusive savage beasts will lead to castration. Our government will legislate soon.’
Sexual harassment and violence against women is common in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are killed each year in so-called ‘honor killings’ for allegedly violating conservative norms on love and marriage.
Pakistan has witnessed an increase in incidents of rape since 2018, when a serial killer raped and murdered six-year-old Zainab Ansari in the eastern city of Kasur in Punjab province.
The case drew nationwide protests and Imran Ali, 24, was later sentenced to death and hanged in the case.
In September, two attackers pulled a woman out of her car which had broken down at night on a deserted highway near the city of Lahore, in eastern Punjab province, and gang-raped her as her terrified children watched. Both men were later arrested.
The woman’s car had ran out of petrol while she was out with her two children. She called for assistance but was dragged from the vehicle and raped by two men as she waited by the side of the road, Just Earth News reported.
In September, the rape of a woman in front of her two children on the side of a road sparked unprecedented protests after the police officer in charge of the investigation appeared to blame the woman for her rape. Pictured: Protesters in Karachi in September [File photo]
Protests erupted after the lead investigator Umar Sheikh suggested the woman was to blame for the attack, saying she should have travelled on a busier road during the day and checked her petrol before setting out.
Amnesty International released a message in support of protesters saying: ‘There have been too many victims and too few convictions of perpetrators in a criminal justice system characterised by impunity.’
The BBC reported that Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted: ‘For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang-raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable & have taken up this issue.
‘Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That’s it.’
Convicted rapists in Pakistan currently face a sentence of between 10 and 25 years in prison or the death penalty.
In recent years, increasingly-vocal and social media-savvy feminists have been challenging the social norms that influence the way rape cases are handled. Pictured: Protesters in Lahore demonstrate against the mishandling of a rape case in September [File photo]
For gang-rape, the punishment is the death penalty or life imprisonment.
However, ineffective investigation and prosecution of rape cases are commonplace in the country where sexual and gender-based violence towards women is pervasive.
Many women fear they will be shamed or persecuted by police and others if they come forward.
In recent years, increasingly-vocal and social media-savvy feminists have been challenging the social norms that influence the way rape cases are handled in Pakistan.
How the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in 2018 sparked outrage across Pakistan as incidents increased in the country
Zainab Ansari, six, was raped and murdered by a serial killer in Kasur, east Pakistan, in 2018
The brutal killing of Zainab Ansari, six, sparked outrage across Pakistan in 2018, which has since seen an increase in incidents of rape.
Her body was left in a rubbish dump in Kasur, east Pakistan, by serial killer Imran Ali, 24, who was later sentenced to death and hanged.
She was snatched in early January as she walked to a Koran class.
CCTV footage showed her being led away by a suspect five days before she was found raped and strangled on a rubbish pile about a mile from her home.
An angry mob surrounded the house of Ali shortly after he was arrested and in October he was handed a death sentence after admitting to her murder as well as six other girls.
He was executed in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison.
In April last year, a woman who was gang-raped in Uch Sharif accused a police officer of raping her in a further attack when she went to report the crime. The policeman was later arrested.
A transgender person from Kamalia was dragged out of a car before being tortured and raped by two men later that year.
Four transgender people, from Kamalia in Pakistan, were booked for a festival show at the Mai Maseet Wali Mela near the village Dhoop Sari, on September 20.
They were driving to the city of Jhang when five men intercepted and pulled one of the group to a nearby farmhouse, around 2am.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for violent sex offenders to be hanged or chemically castrated amid outcry over the gang rape of a woman in the country in September this year
Two raped one of the passenger’s while three armed men were on guard.
The victim was later dropped 20 kilometres away in Sahiwal, where they were then collected by colleague Binyamin who was at the festival venue.
The pair reported the incident to Harappa police who were ‘reluctant’ to act on the case, according to Binyamin.
Police arrested five suspects and two of them were nominated.
More recently, a 14-year-old girl died during an abortion six months in to her pregnancy after being repeatedly raped by an uncle.
The girl, identified by local media as Uzma, began living with her maternal aunt and her husband Ghulam Anwar.
Uzma became pregnant and died in September this year after she was raped by Anwar repeatedly.
He and his wife were arrested by Okara police in October after Uzma’s father registered a complaint.
On November 10, Rafiq Malik was arrested for the kidnapping and gang-raping of a mother and her four-year-old daughter in Kashmore, a district in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
Police continue to search for his two accomplices.