Anti-Rape Ordinance Draft Finalized

On Wednesday, the law ministry finalized the draft of an anti-rape ordinance. It is hoped that once this ordinance is approved, the rape cases in the country will be curbed. 

Farogh Naseem, the Federal Law Minister, also addressed the ordinance after chairing a meeting, which was held to put final touches on the law. He said that the law, once passed, will sentence sex offenders to some severe and heinous punishments. He went on to add that two of these punishments are the death penalty and chemical castration. 

Just a day earlier, the federal cabinet had approved of the Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Ordinance, 2020 along with the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. There was a dire need of ordinances like these in light of the sexual assault cases that have continued to shock the nation time and time again. 

The rape and consequent murder of Zainab, a seven-year-old girl, in Kasur nearly two years ago was particularly disturbing for the citizens of the country. In addition, the more recent gang-rape of a mother of two in front of her children, on the Lahore motorway, as well as the rape of a mother and daughter in the Kashmore district caused much uproar in the country. 

Soon after the incident in Kashmore occurred, the Prime Minister of Pakistan expressed much grief and sorrow. Imran Khan then proceeded to direct relevant departments and the law ministry to finalize a law as soon as possible to punish the culprits. He also stated that no relief should be provided to the accused. The premier added at a weekly cabinet meeting that such crimes are not a characteristic of a civilized society. 

Sources have revealed that the government is also thinking of maintaining a specific database that consists of all sex offenders. It will be made a part of the records of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). 

Furthermore, the new law, yet to be promulgated, will provide protection to people who are part of the transgender community. The punishments outlined in this particular ordinance are not the same as the laws that exist for rape cases. 

Along with capital punishment and chemical castration, the ordinance states that a perpetrator could also be jailed for 10 to 25 years. The law minister informed that the chemical castration could be for a specific time period or for the entire life of the culprit. 

He also went on to add that the ordinance was being promulgated due to the fact that there has been no session of the parliament. 

Sheraz Ahmed, an integral part of War Against Rape, has also pointed out that between the years of 2009 and 2019, a total of 39,989 child abuse cases have been reported in Pakistan. 

Sahil, a child protection NGO, revealed that between the months of January and June this year, nearly eight cases of child rape had been reported on a daily basis. Despite the fact that the pandemic had created problems when it came to reporting cases, the numbers had not declined.