‘Rape conviction ratio zero in Pakistan’

*Interior Ministry shares latest data with Senate committee *Provinces directed to submit record of rape cases, decisions

ISLAMABAD – Senator Sughra Imam on Thursday informed the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice that the conviction ratio in the rape cases in Pakistan was zero per cent in the last five years, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Interior Affairs to the upper house of the parliament.

Due to the lacunas in the PPC, CRPC and Qanoon Shahdat Act, no conviction was given in the rape cases, she informed the meeting, held under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Kazim Khan in the Parliament House. The meeting discussed the Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill 2014.

The committee directed the Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Interior Affairs and provincial law ministries to submit record that how many rape cases were filed and decided by the authorities concerned. The committee also decided to hold a meeting with members of the Pakistan Bar Council, presidents of High Court Bars and experts to discuss and amend the Anti-Rape Laws after seeking opinion from all stakeholders.

Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, leader of the house in Senate, said that in such cases it was an easy task to blame someone but very difficult to prove it. The committee also considered the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Amendment Bill, 2014 moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar and directed the Ministry of Law to prepare a draft and discussed with committee in this regard.

Farhatullah Babar said that the academic institutions' input should also be included in the bill because a number of incidents of harassing students by teachers or male students were occurred in the universities and colleges. He said that the current law does not apply on the teacher and students so that to avoid from such incidents and providing security to students through this law is the need of the hour.

Senator Kazim observed that a new comprehensive law should be drafted which should cover all elements of protection from harassment. Senator Zafar said that the Ministry of Law should include balanced amendment in the bill to protect both genders from the harassment.

During the meeting, the committee also considered the Constitution Amendment Bill 2013, moved by Senator Sughra Imam. She said that there should be an amendment in the constitution which bars civil servant, judges to hold dual nationality as like parliamentarians.

To this, special secretary of law informed the committee that the Citizenship Act, 1976 allows such officials to retain dual nationality. However, the committee directed the secretary to seek recommendations from all the provincial law ministries and apprised the committee in the next meeting.

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