21 September 2020
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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is mulling over the “best legislation” to punish sex offenders in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday.

His statement came days after a woman was raped in front of
her two children when her car ran out of fuel on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway.

The case attracted additional anger after a police official
seemed to blame the victim because she was driving at night without a male
companion.

“We are thinking of passing a best legislation for
this,” PM Khan told a joint session of the parliament Wednesday. “So
that in future, not only our women get protection, but also the children whose
lives and families are destroyed because of abuse.”

He said rape ruins a person’s life but in the Pakistani
culture it ruins the lives of their family too. “I was especially thinking
what those kids must have gone through,” the premier said of the children
of the Lahore motorway rape survivor. “This trauma lasts for life.”

He said the government had decided to work out a
three-pronged strategy in this regard.

Sex offenders are registered all over the world with the
help of a database, according to PM Khan. The world’s experience suggests that
sex offenders repeat the crime after being released.

“Whatever punishment was given to him that was clearly
not dreadful, which is why he again committed [rape],” he said of the
Lahore gang-rape suspect Abid. He remains on the run.

“A very small number of such cases is reported,”
PM Khan said. “We are preparing a legislation that could have dreadful
punishment, people could be afraid…so that they could know that there would
be consequences for it.”

The prime minister admitted that it was difficult to get sex
offenders convicted. The government is also trying to ensure witness protection
through the bill and that they might not have to face people in the court.

The bill will soon be tabled in the parliament, PM Khan said.

Abdul Gh Lone

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