Expressing immense sorrow and regret over the recent heart-wrenching Lahore motorway gang-rape, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that a bill for the registration of sex offenders, effective policing, and exemplary punishment for rape and child abusers will be presented in the parliament soon.
“We are thinking of passing legislation that not only protects our women but also our children whose lives are ruined,” the premier said while addressing a joint session of the parliament that was convened to pass bills fundamental to the fulfilment of requirements set out by the Financial Action Task Force on Wednesday.
“Rape should be viewed as something that destroys lives. In our culture, families suffer also, and the children, especially, have life-long trauma.”
Noting that the government will have a three-tiered approach towards the surging harassment cases of the country, the prime minister said: “Firstly, we will have registration. Sex offenders everywhere are registered. They are usually repeated offenders.”
“Just like Abid. He was involved in a gang-rape in the past and he was able to get away with it,” he said.
The prime minister further said that far too many incidences go unreported. “We always find out that a small number is reported.”
“It will not only focus on exemplary punishment but also conviction, to begin with, which is not easy. The kind of evidence required is very difficult to put forward,” he added.
Acknowledging that for the victim to stand in the witness box and provide a statement is also a very difficult task, PM Imran said that “comprehensive legislation” will also be introduced keeping these aspects in mind.
Earlier this month, two armed men allegedly raped a woman stranded with her children on the motorway before robbing her of money and other valuables, according to a police report on the incident.
The woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was on her way back to the city from Lahore’s Ring Road at 01:30AM on Tuesday night, when her car ran out of petrol near Gujjarpura around an hour later.
The woman had waited for her husband and phoned a relative for help, who advised her to call the Motorway Police. She subsequently called the Motorway Police’s 130 emergency helpline for assistance but was told by the operator that she could not be provided help as the emergency beat had not been assigned to anyone.
In another unfortunate incident, five-year-old Marwah had been kidnapped after she left home in Karachi on Friday morning at around 7am to buy biscuits from a nearby shop. Later, her body was found stuffed inside a bag in Essa Nagri earlier this month.