ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called for public hanging of those involved in sexual abuse of women and children and said habitual rapists should be physically or chemically castrated so that they could not commit such crimes in future.

In an interview to TV channel 92 News, the prime minister said habitual sex offenders should be registered and they should remain under the vigilant eye of the police.

Mr Khan said he received a report from the police on sex abuse and was shocked to find out that sex crimes had been increasing in the country. However, he noted, hanging of a rapist publicly might be opposed internationally.

“Unfortunately, when we had the discussion, [we were] told it would not be internationally acceptable,” he said, adding that public hanging might affect the GSP-Plus trade status given to “us by the European Union”.

Mr Khan said another option was to “chemically or surgically castrate” rapists, according to the degree of the crime, “as is done by many countries”.

Says another option is to ‘chemically castrate’ such abusers

He said those who raped women and children should be hanged publicly.

“They [rapists] should be given exemplary punishments. In my opinion, they should be hanged at a Chowk,” he said, adding that this punishment should be reserved for rapists and those who abused children.

He said the motorway incident caused anger across the country and brought sexual violence against women into national focus. “Motorway rape has shaken the entire nation because the victim could have been anyone’s sister or daughter.”

Talking about motorway rapist Abid Ali, who had committed a gang-rape in 2013, the prime minister said the country needed fresh legislation to permanently sterilise such [criminals].

He regretted that there was no registry of sex offenders in the country, which led to a convicted pedophile from a European country entering Pakistan and sexually abusing children here.

He said sexual crimes should be fought by the entire society, and not just police. “World history tells when you increase fahashi [vulgarity] in society, two things happen: sex crimes increase and the family system breaks down,” he added.

Citing an example, he said the divorce rate in England shot up 70 per cent at present as vulgarity increased there. Compared to the West, “our family system is intact. We can fix our justice system and institutions, but if our family system breaks down, we will not be able to rebuild it,” he said, adding that New Delhi too had become the “rape capital” of the world due to obscenity in Bollywood.

The prime minister said he had pushed for Turkish blockbuster Ertugrul to be broadcast on Pakistani television because he wanted to prove that Islamic and historical family programmes could be popular in the country too.

About the Karachi situation, Mr Khan said the federal government was making efforts to resolve the city’s municipal and infrastructure issues.

Asked about the wrangling between the federal and Sindh governments over the Rs1.1 trillion package announced by him for Karachi, the prime minister said: “I am not aware of the Sindh government’s problems. But I know after the [post-rain] devastation in Karachi, all the stakeholders sat and decided to resolve Karachi’s main issues of water supply, waste disposal, sewerage, transport and cleaning nullahs. Karachi is Pakistan’s engine of growth. When Karachi sneezes, the entire Pakistan catches cold,” he added.

PM Khan said the losses caused by rains in the city had become an “opportunity” to fix its problems, adding that all stakeholders had been given a deadline of three years to complete the tasks that are part of the Karachi Transformation Plan.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2020