ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday endorsed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s view about public hanging of rapists and vowed that the government would not accept any pressure from the West.
“If Islam guides us to give punishment to rapists publicly then there must be some wisdom in it,” Information Minister Shibli Faraz said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference in response to a question about the recent horrible incident of rape of a woman on the motorway near Lahore.
The cabinet meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Khan.
“The prime minister firmly believes in Islamic laws and Sunnah of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him),” Mr Faraz said.
The minister said the government would not accept any pressure from the international community and would make legislation regarding public hanging of rapists and chemical and physical castration of habitual sex abusers. “We will not tolerate any pressure from the west, east, north and south,” he declared.
“Rapists must be hanged publicly so that they become an example for others,” the minister said, adding that exemplary punishment should be awarded to the culprits of the motorway incident.
In an interview with a private TV channel on Monday, Prime Minister Khan had called for public hanging of rapists and said that habitual sex offenders should be physically or chemically castrated so that they could not commit such crimes in future. However, he said, hanging of a rapist publicly might be opposed internationally as many countries carried out castration of sex abusers.
Demolition of jail
In a significant move, the cabinet decided to demolish an under-construction jail in the federal capital on which Rs1.5 billion had already been spent.
“The cabinet has decided not to regularise illegal construction of a prison on a green area in H-16, Islamabad, as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s philosophy is to preserve green areas,” Shibli Faraz said, adding that the structure will be demolished and jail would be constructed on an alternative place in the federal capital.
The minister said the government would conduct an inquiry against the officers who had allowed the construction of the prison on the green area.
In reply to a question, he said the relevant officers of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) would be held responsible for the illegal construction of kiosks at green belts, adding that the CDA must ensure strict monitoring to avoid the construction of illegal structures.
Master plans for cities
The cabinet directed the city managements to step up their efforts for formulating master plans to effectively discourage illegal construction and haphazard expansion in major urban areas across the country.
Reviewing initiatives of the cities management for urban planning, the cabinet underlined the need for formulating master plans to ensure planned construction in major cities.
The meeting also discussed a 16-point agenda and expressed satisfaction over resumption of educational activities of over 2.5 million children in the country, following a decline in Covid-19 cases. It called upon the students and school managements to strictly follow Covid-19 guidelines for containing the spread of the deadly virus at the premises.
The cabinet approved amendments to the Elections Act, making it obligatory for the elected members to take oath of office within 60 days after the elections.
The information minister quoted the examples of Senator-elect Ishaq Dar and MPA-elect Chaudhry Nisar who, he said, had not yet taken oath despite the passage of two years, depriving the people of their right to representation.
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020