Just when Pakistan finally gets something right, their Islamic law ‘keepers of the flame’ Imams have to go and ruin it in just two days according to the Voice Of America (VOA). With the Parliament deciding to allow chemical castration for rapists, they started to pave the way for other countries to make the same decisions. This has been a long-brewing idea in many corners of the world, including here in the US. The idea of removing their tools to commit rape again is an ingenious one. Even if it’s just removing its functionality.
Pakistan’s Islamic Council of Ideology is “a constitutional advisory body mandated to interpret and ensure all Pakistani laws are in line with Islam according to the US government-funded VOA. According to Maleeka Bukhari, Pakistan’s parliamentary secretary on law, “The Islamic Council of Ideology had objected to the punishment of chemical castration for rapists for being an un-Islamic practice, so we decided to remove it from the law. It would have been unconstitutional to pass the law as all laws must be under the Sharia [Islamic law] and the Islamic holy book the Quran, Therefore, we can’t pass any law that goes against these values.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has specifically advocated for change over the past year for the introduction of chemical castration. He had hoped that the introduction of such a punishment would make for a safer Pakistan for the women and girls of the land. It also comes on the heels of a large profile case in 2020 according to the VOA. In this instance, a woman was dragged from her car at gunpoint and raped by two men in front of her children while her car was stalled at the side of the road. Outrageous actions like these call for a swift and thorough response, and that is what Prime Minister Khan was giving the people. While he believed, in this case, the perpetrators should be hung, alas that was not to be.
Prime Minister Khan has gone on record as suggesting “The way there is first degree, second degree, third-degree murder, this [rape] should be graded in the same way, and when there is first degree [rape], castrate them. Operate on them and make them unable to do this.” This is a solid and ideal suggestion for the people of Pakistan to have some real punishment for such atrocious crimes.
Asian News International has covered these cases extensively over the years. “In Pakistan, at least 11 rape cases are reported daily with over 22,000 rape cases reported to police across the country in the last six years… Only 77 accused of the 22,000 cases were found to be convicted and the conviction rate is sadly around 0.3 percent.” These new rape laws could have brought much hope and faith for their people, but sadly look to offer little comfort in actuality.
As Pakistan and other countries across the globe look for answers to the forever ongoing rape crisis, they are actively working to develop new laws that will require swift and thorough justice as well as strong penalties. They will be creating special courts just to handle these cases and help keep the women and children of Pakistan as safe as possible. While chemical castration may no longer be on the table at least they are speeding up the process.