ISLAMABAD: Removing a provision of public hanging of rapists from the anti-rape bill, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said he wanted to take all parliamentary parties on board in future legislation.
During a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser at the Prime Minister House, he said the anti-rape bill would be introduced in the National Assembly in its next session.
A source privy to the meeting told Dawn that the bill had suggested stern action and exemplary punishments for those involved in the sexual abuse of women and children, including chemical and physical castration of habitual rapists. They will also be registered so that police could keep a vigilant eye on them.
“The prime minister desired to take along other parliamentary parties in the legislative process in the best public interest,” said an official press release issued by the Prime Minister Office after the meeting.
It said the prime minister discussed matters related to legislation, measures of public interest and welfare with the speaker.
Prime Minister Khan said the legislature had an important role to play in protecting and upholding the rights of the people under the Constitution and law.
“Treasury members will continue to play their due role in any reforms or amendments required to the existing laws,” he added.
Later, Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, in a separate press conference, said the prime minister had excluded the provision of public hanging from the anti-rape bill while other exemplary punishments for rapists had been suggested.
On Sept 14, the prime minister called for public hanging of those involved in sexually assaulting women and children or physically castrating them so that they could not commit such crimes in future.
Universal health coverage
The prime minister directed the Punjab government to launch the facility of universal health coverage for the residents of two big cities of the province.
He was presiding over the review meeting on the National Health Card Programme to provide quality services to deserving people in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The meeting was attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid, KP Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, Parliamentary Secretary Dr Nausheen Hamid, secretaries of relevant departments and senior officials.
The prime minister was informed that the Sehat Sahulat Programme had been extended to 36 districts of Punjab with 5.1 million families registered under it.
The meeting was told that the beneficiaries of the programme had increased during the tenure of the present government with 80,389 people benefited from the facility this year.
During the last one-and-a-half months, around 1.3 million families had been registered, whereas 235 hospitals were included in the panel.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020