Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that criminals and rapists, like the ones involved in the horrific gang-rape of an unidentified woman on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway earlier this week, should be hanged in public squares.
PM Imran made the statement while talking to renowned journalist Moeed Pirzada during an interview that will be aired later on Monday by 92 News channel. According to a message shared by Pirzada on Twitter, PM Imran also made other explosive statements in the discussion.
An unidentified woman was gang-raped in front of her children on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway last week. The incident sparked an outcry for women’s safety across the country, with many blaming the police for negligence.
However, in the ensuing investigation into the case, Punjab police were able to identify and track down the alleged culprits responsible for the incident within three days. One of the accused surrendered before police in Lahore on Sunday, and another was arrested.
PM Imran Khan thinks that criminals like the “Motorway Rapists” should be hanged at public squares; watch an explosive discussion with PM Imran Khan, in Hard Talk Pakistan, 92 News, 8.03pm tonight pic.twitter.com/ShiNzx3QTU— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) September 14, 2020
‘Repeat offenders should be given severe punishments’
During the interview with Pirzada, PM Imran said that he believed that the severest of punishments should be given to serial rapists, sex offenders, and gang-rapists. PM Imran added that there had been an increase in sex-related crimes across Pakistan.
“I had formed a committee on the law and order situation in the country comprising of senior police officials and the committee has briefed me regarding the increased number of sex-related crimes across Pakistan over the past few months,” he remarked.
In response to a query by Pirzada regarding women and sex-related crimes, the premier revealed that not only had there been an increase in sex crimes against women, but also against young and helpless children in the country.
I told PM that Buzdar is an easy target for opposition & media; so I asked PM Khan what he finds special in CM Usman Buzdar? PM gives a long explanation, watch in my program, at 92 News, 8pm tonight pic.twitter.com/UvhlEhpBA2— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) September 14, 2020
“The young Zainab case is an example. These serial rapists, repeat offenders, and pedophiles need to be punished through a process of severe punishments,” the premier maintained, clearly very emotional about the issues faced by women and children in Pakistan.
PM Imran said that Pakistan had international commitments to consider before making a decision on the issue. According to sources, Pakistan has commitments to the European Union involving certain guarantees on the death penalty and public hangings.
These commitments are tied to the trade agreement that the country has with the EU, the sources added. As such, it was clear during the interview that even though PM Imran felt strongly about the motorway case, he had to keep the larger picture in front of him as well.
After UAE, Bahrain recognises Israel & Oman welcomes the move; how is Pakistan watches these developments? Watch PM Imran Khan explain, 92 News, 8.03pm, tonight pic.twitter.com/NXLhAqMSd8
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) September 14, 2020
Motorway gang-rape: Accused confesses to involvement
One of the accused in the motorway gang-rape case, Shafqat, was arrested by the police late on Sunday, Dunya News reported. The accused was caught with the help of another suspect, Waqar Al Hassan, who surrendered before police on Sunday afternoon, police sources said.
The DNA of the accused Shafqat was matched to the crime, according to Dunya News. Shafqat was arrested yesterday. During the interrogation, accused Waqar Al-Hassan gave information about Shafqat, the news channel claimed.
Hassan, who surrendered, said during interrogation that accused Ali had been having an affair with a man named Shafqat for some time. Shafqat is a resident of Bahawalnagar and a friend of Abid Ali, Hassan revealed.
According to police sources, Hassan was not found involved in the incident during the preliminary investigations. The DNA of the accused did not match the crime. It is yet to be confirmed whether the accused was present at the crime scene on the night of the incident.
On the other hand, Abid Ali, the main accused in the rape case, has not yet been arrested. Police have arrested seven more people, including close relatives of accused Abid Ali, during investigations on Monday evening.
CCPO makes public apology for earlier comments
Meanwhile, CCPO Lahore Umar Shiekh has apologized for a controversial statement he had made last week on the motorway rape case. “I apologize if the statement offended anyone. I apologize to the victim and all sections. My statement was not meant to give a wrong impression,” he said.
Sheikh, of the Punjab Police, on Thursday, resorted to rape victim-blaming in an interview aired by Dunya News. During the interview, Sheikh, who was recently involved in a power tussle with the Inspector-General of Punjab Police, said that he was surprised that the woman, raped by unidentified men on the motorway, had chosen to take the route she did.
“She left defence at 12:30 in the night to go to Gujranwala, I’m surprised that a mother of three children, a lone driver, she should have taken the more populated GT Road, and even if one has to use that road, she should have checked her petrol, anyway this was her problem, soon as she crossed the toll plaza,” he said.
GVS News Desk