ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that chemical castration should be used to punish rapists, following last week’s headline-grabbing case of the gang rape of a mother in front of her children on a major highway in Punjab province. “I am also in favour for publicly hanging of these criminals who have no mercy, no ethics”, he added.
If Pakistan enacts laws to make chemical castration of sexual abusers legal, it will join a small group of nations that allow such a punishment, including Indonesia, Poland, Russia, and Estonia, as well as some states in the United States. In 2011, South Korea became the first Asian country to use chemical castration as a punishment.
The procedure involves using a drug to reduce testosterone levels and affect the sex drive. “Chemical castration should be done on them [rapists],” Khan said in a television interview aired on Monday. “This happens in many countries, I’m reading about it.”
“Or do a surgery so that they can’t do anything more in the future,” he added.
Khan said rape cases needed to be graded in degrees, like murder.
“Whoever is a first degree [rapist], they should be castrated,” the prime minister said. “Do an operation and make them useless.”
Meanwhile, addressing a joint sitting of parliament on Wednesday, Imran Khan announced that the government will soon introduce a three-tier legislation providing for registration of sex offenders, exemplary punishment for rape and child abuse and effective policing.
“Such incidents ruin the lives of victims and their families also have to suffer,” said Mr Khan, referring to the heart-wrenching incident on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway on Sept 9. He pointed out that the main suspect in the recent gang-rape case was a history-sheeter, explaining that global data indicated that such criminals were repeat offenders and therefore maintaining their data was important.
The prime minister expressed these views while addressing a joint sitting of parliament after passage of a number of Financial Action Task Force-related bills on Wednesday.
Mr Khan said the legislation being prepared would not only provide for exemplary punishment for rape and child abuse offences but would also contain provisions for registration of sex offenders and effective policing. He admitted that only a very small percentage of such cases were reported to police in the country. Even after the arrest of offenders in rape and child abuse cases, their conviction was not easy in absence of proper prosecution and concrete evidence, he pointed out. For this reason, he said, the bill being prepared would also provide for witness protection.
The prime minister in his speech also accused the opposition parties of trying to blackmail the government over the Financial Action Task Force-related legislation.
He said the opposition sought to exclude money laundering from the NAB law under the cover of FATF-related legislation in order to hide corruption of their leaders who owned precious foreign assets. “Why they are scared if they have not laundered ill-gotten money,” Mr Khan remarked.
According to a report, Mr Khan said, 10 billion dollars were laundered from Pakistan each year. He said Hyde Park-1 was one of the most expensive properties in London. Likewise, Mayfair was among most-prized land in London. He said the other opposition party leader also owned properties in the name of his front-men. However, he said, former president Asif Zardari had a property in New York in his name and a case in this regard was in process.
He also criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party governments for five-fold increase in external debts during their 10-year rule. In attempt to justify the borrowings in last two years, the prime minister said what other option was left for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to run the country’s affairs when “half of the amount collected by us through taxes went in debt servicing and Rs2,600 billion of the Rs4,000 billion revenue generated in the second year would be spent to pay loan installments”.
Mr Khan said when the government talked of corruption, the opposition clamoured terming it political victimisation. “Are they protecting public interest? They want to save the stolen money,” he said.