Pakistan's assembly passes resolution calling for public hanging of child abusers
07 Feb 2020
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan presents the resolution in the National Assembly in Islamabad.
Tariq Butt, Staff Reporter
A resolution calling for public hanging of offenders convicted for sexually abusing and murdering children was passed in the Pakistan's National Assembly (NA) on Friday with a majority of votes.
The resolution was presented in the parliament by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and passed by all lawmakers, apart from those of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The PPP opposed the resolution, with former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf saying that ramping up the severity of punishments does not result in a reduction in crime.
"We cannot put public hanging into practice as it violates the laws of the United Nations," he added, reminding members of the parliament that Pakistan is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
He was not the only one to raise his voice against the passing of the resolution. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry strongly condemned it.
"This is just another grave act in line with brutal civilisation practices. Societies act in a balanced way. Barbarism is not the answer to crimes; this is another expression of extremism," he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari clarified that the resolution "was not government-sponsored but an individual act."
According to a report released by child rights organisation Sahil in September last year, 1,304 cases of sexual abuse of children were reported by the media in the country from January to June. This means that at least seven children are abused every day.
With the issue continuing to remain widely prevalent, the government has been met with criticism for not taking any concrete measures to address flaws in the investigation of such cases or the implementation of the relevant laws.
Presently, multiple laws are available in Pakistan for dealing with child-related offences.