THIS is apropos the news report ‘Acid thrown on stepdaughters’ (Jan 4). Incidents of throwing acid are common in Asian countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and some African countries.
The government of Pakistan had passed the Criminal Law Amendment Act in 2011 to make any act of throwing acid a crime against the state. This crime is punishable with 14 years of jail or life imprisonment, including fine. However, it is unfortunate that the act is not being implemented because of police incompetence and corruption and lack of interest by the government. Recently, the media reported another case of acid attack, this time on a high government official, the Deputy Director of Meteorology, Karachi. In this case the police were trying to find a safe path for the offender.
The act of throwing acid should be treated as a serious crime and be tried by an anti-terrorism court, with no bail allowed to culprits. It is time the government implemented the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2011, and the judiciary awarded the guilty an exemplary punishment. It is the only way to stop the crime.
Moreover, the government should bear the expenses of the victim’s treatment. Meanwhile, developed countries should issue a visa to the victim on a priority basis to enable him to get treatment abroad. It is hoped that the government of Pakistan would seriously look into the problem.