ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP):The members of the National Assembly (MNAs) on Tuesday suggested steps, including formation of a high profile committee, strengthening of laws and strict punishments to curb the incidents of rape and sexual assault on women and children.
Continuing debate for the second day on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway rape incident in the House, Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the nation was saddened and angered over the incident. The people were rightly making the demand for public hanging of rape offenders.
He said sexual assault cases were increasing in the country while the cases of rape victims were pending in courts. Such incidents should not be forgotten as happened in the past and justice should be done.
The minister said some 5,000 incidents of rape, including more than 100 cases of gang rape, had occurred in the country in a year and only few of the accused were convicted by the courts.
A lot of cases were not reported by the victims because of social stigma and complicated medical and legal procedures, he explained.
Only five percent of criminals were convicted in the rape cases, he said, adding the justice system needed to be revamped and the courts should not try to reconcile the offenders and victims of rape and sentences should be handed down.
He said the rape cases could be contained by use of modern technology.
Hashim Notezai strongly condemned the incidents of rape in the country.
He agreed with the suggestion of opposition leader for formation of a committee to probe the incidents of rape and sexual assault.
Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali also severely condemned the Lahore rape incident.
Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said the Lahore rape incident was very painful, while the opposition parties used it for political point scoring.
A committee comprising legislators and religious scholars should be formed to ascertain implementation of law, she added.
The names of rape victims should be kept confidential as was done in the motorway case, she said adding a police spokesman should be appointed to avoid the controversy that arose recently due to the statement of a police officer.
Sabir Qaimkhani stressed for strict measures to stop the incidents of sexual assault.
He said the existing laws should be further strengthened to discourage the perpetrators of the crime.
Hina Rabbani Khar said the Lahore rape incident should be thoroughly probed and responsible officers should be held accountable.
She concurred that the conviction rate in rape cases was low and the cases were not being reported.
Sher Ali Arbab said the country was becoming unsafe for women, minorities and the poor. The Parliament should act and take effective steps against the crime of rape, he added.
Ghazala Saifi, Kheel Das Kohistani, Saad Waseem, Naz Baloch, Hassan Baloch, Salahuddin Ayubi and others also expressed their views on the issue and demanded protection of rights of the female population.
Riaz Fatyana while chairing the session, said one button tap application should be introduced so that women could inform police on their mobile phones whenever they feel threatened.
The House adopted a resolution to constrain police, investigation agencies and media from circulating the ethnic identity of an accused unless it was mentioned in his identity card.
In another resolution, the House was of the view that police, investigation agencies and media should be constrained from leaking the information about the accused involved in cases of rape, treason and terrorism.
Earlier speaking on a point of order, Minister of State for Frontier Regions Shehryar Khan urged the public to stay away from sectarianism.
He said India was trying to destabilize Pakistan and the people should not fall prey to the conspiracies of the enemies and avoid sectarian tendencies.