By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti
Speaking to a private television channel after the shocking tragedy of rape of a woman on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, Prime Minister Imran Khan had backed the proposal to chemically disarm the perpetrators of rape. The current government has now enacted a law to curb the rising incidence of rape, under which rape offenders will be disqualified after obtaining their permission. A meeting of the Cabinet Committee chaired by Federal Law Minister Forough Naseem on Thursday approved the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, which the Federal Cabinet has already approved in principle. ۔ He said that if the order of chemical disinfection was given without the consent of the offender, he could challenge it in court. Under the Pakistani Penal Code, a rapist can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment or up to 25 years in prison. The present government also intends to introduce an ordinance for early hearing of rape cases and establishment of special courts along with the proposed law. If you look at the statistics, the conviction rate for rape in Pakistan is only 2% and a large number of incidents go unreported. Another important aspect is the fear of social stigma attached to rape, while the collection of forensic evidence and flaws in the judicial system are also contributing to the spread of the crime. Another important aspect is to put pressure on the affected party to make peace. If the current government takes this law seriously, with the aim of punishing the real culprits, there is no reason why rape cases should not be curbed.