Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan’s calls for the public hanging of rapists have been endorsed by Pakistan’s cabinet members.
In an interview this week, Khan said that rapists should be handed down the most severe punishments such as either hanging them publicly or chemical castration to curb rising sexual violence in the country. His comments came after the recent gang rape incident on the motorway near Lahore that shocked the nation and prompted protests all across the country.
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Addressing media after the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that the prime minister firmly believed in Islamic laws and the Sunnah of Islam’s Prophet. “If Islam guides us to give punishment to rapists publicly then there must be some wisdom in it,” he claimed. The minister said that the government would not bow to pressure from the international community and would legislate regarding public hanging of rapists and chemical and physical castration of habitual sex abusers.
In an interview with a private TV channel, Khan had called for public hanging of rapists and those who abuse children. He, however, had noted that public hangings might be opposed internationally and could impact Pakistan’s exports as it would negate the European Union’s GSP+ status for the country. But he said the other option was to “chemically or surgically castrate” rapists.
Public hanging for rapists also came under discussion at the Senate as lawmakers came up with arguments for and against the proposal. Peoples Party’s parliamentary leader in the house, Ms. Sherry Rehman, rejected the suggestion, saying that “public hangings and castrations have not proved to be a deterrent anywhere” and that it was “a diversion from the real, more pervasive issue of improving the investigation and prosecution process.”
Database of sex offenders
Today, Senator Faisal Javed Khan said that the government is preparing to create a national sex offenders database as part of the proposed legislation to ensure stricter punishments for sexual abusers. “Those who abuse children and women will be punished severely,” the senator told the media, adding that the “prime minister has made it clear that no concessions should be allowed to such monsters.” He further said that a consensus was needed for public hangings of rapists.