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Pak women lawmakers demand public hanging of rapists

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Islamabad, July 31

Pakistan’s women lawmakers have unanimously demanded public hanging of all rapists to curb rising cases of harassment and abuse of women and children in the country.

The demand was made in the National Assembly on Friday by women members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday.

“We 69 women MNAs demand quick judgement in rape cases and public hanging of rapists,” said Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar of the Oppposition PML-N.

The women legislators also called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to review rape cases.

“If Pakistan has to be run, then rapists and killers must be hanged in public,” said Asma Qadeer, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.

Qadeer broke into tears while speaking on the floor of the house about rising cases of rape of women and children and the recent one in Islamabad in which Noor Mukadam, the daughter of former diplomat Shaukat Mukadam, was killed by a “friend”.

The issue of violence against women caught the attention of lawmakers due to the horrific killing of Mukadam this month in Islamabad’s posh area by the son of a business tycoon.

The killer has been arrested. Initial reports say she was killed after spurning his marriage proposal.

Maulana Akbar Chitrali of right-wing Jamaati-e-Islami endorsed the demand of women MPs and said rapists and killers must be hanged at public places to stop such incidents from happening.

Mehnaz Akbar Aziz of PML-N said the killer of Mukadam must be hanged in public so that such incidents did not take place in future.

Shamim Ara Panhwar of PPP said that in the light of increasing incidents of child abuse and rape of women, there was no other option but to hang rapists and killers in public.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the government had recently passed a law against rape cases, but only laws would not work because there was a need to change the mindset of society about women.

She said that the government had to protect all women as women would no more accept their humiliation and suffering.

She expressed satisfaction that the investigation into Mukadam’s case was being conducted in the right direction.

Data collected from domestic violence hotlines across the country showed a 200 per cent increase in domestic violence between January and March last year, according to a Human Rights Watch report released earlier this year. PTI

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