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Friday Nov 20 2020
Web Desk

Pakistan's proposed law against rape, gender-based-violence to be presented next week: Mazari

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's proposed law against rape and gender-based violence (GBV) "should be ready" to be presented in the federal Cabinet next week, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said late Friday.

Shireen Mazari said Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting earlier today with her, Law Minister Farogh Naseem, Barrister Ali Zafar, and the premier's principal secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan "to finalise the anti rape/GBV law"

The law against rape and gender-based violence (GBV), including violence against women, would "be a comprehensive law removing problems victims face at all levels [including] post-trauma [professional] help", the minister said on Twitter.

Also read: Report claims less than 3% rapes in Pakistan lead to conviction

Back in September, while reacting to the heart-wrenching Lahore motorway gang-rape, PM Imran Khan had announced that a bill for the registration of sex offenders, effective policing, and exemplary punishment for rape and child abusers would be presented in the parliament soon.

Three-tiered approach

"We are thinking of passing legislation that not only protects our women but also our children whose lives are ruined," the premier had said during a joint session of the parliament. "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 would have a three-tiered approach towards the surging harassment cases of the country, PM Imran Khan had said: "Firstly, we will have registration. Sex offenders everywhere are registered. They are usually repeated offenders.

Read more: PM Imran Khan says legislation to deter rape cases, child abuse on the cards

"Just like Abid. He was involved in a gang-rape in the past and he was able to get away with it. 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 had said.

Acknowledging that for the victim to stand in the witness box and provide a statement was also a very difficult task, the premier had noted that "comprehensive legislation" would also be introduced keeping these aspects in mind.