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November 27, 2019

Governor Chaudhry Sarwar for punishing criminals to end violence against women

Lahore

November 27, 2019

LAHORE : Violence against women is a bitter reality that still prevails all over the globe. “Rape is the most heinous form of violence. We must ensure that no one in this land gets away with this crime.”

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said this Tuesday as a chief guest at an event held to mark the start of 16-day activism against gender-based violence at the Governor’s House. “We must encourage survivors of rape to speak out and the society must not blame the survivors. They should expose the offenders and speak up loud and clear against the crime,” the governor said.

The governor underlined the need to punish criminals. All protection is possible by implementing laws, he said, giving the example of how Bangladesh had overcome acid throwing by punishing the criminals. He underlined the need to allow young people to choose their spouse themselves. Organised by the Punjab government and UN Women Pakistan in collaboration with Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Women Development, Strategic Monitoring Unit, Punjab and Punjab Women Protection Authority, the event was well-attended by people from a cross-section of society.

Provincial Minister for Women Development Ashifa Riaz Fatiana, Chairperson Standing Committee on Gender Mainstreaming Uzma Kardar, Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG) Punjab Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh, Regional Director Ministry of Human Rights Lubna Mansoor, Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, and MPAs addressed the event and participated in panel discussions that revolved around gender-based violence and initiative taken in Punjab to end violence against women.

Women and children are vulnerable and more at risk of being violated. Statistics reveal that violence is on the rise as women domestic murder cases went up from 283 in 2015 to 372 in 2018 and by now the number of such murders reported, are 362. The number of rape cases have risen from 2,846 in 2018 to 3,388 (till October 31), probably because they are being reported far more than in the past.

Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG) Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh gave this data about violence against women. Honour killings and acid throwing cases have gone down compared to previous years, primarily due to Section 311 where there can be no compromise, said the AIG.

Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh, in his report on violence against women in the province, said over 2,200 cases were sent to court last year, among them 563 cases stand cancelled because they were not backed by evidence while 18 percent cases were found to be false in 2018.

What is worrying is that only 6 percent accused get punished while there is more action against criminals now, the AIG said.

IG Prisons Dr Saleem Masood said violence against children is alarming as 4.5 cases are being reported every day which means children are assaulted every six hours. “Please do research why there are so many psychopaths in our society and what to do,” he said.

LCWU dialogue: A conference and parliamentary dialogue on addressing violence against girls in Punjab was held at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) on Tuesday.

According to a press release, the event was organised in connection with International Days of Activism for Ending Violence Against Women and aimed to create awareness about girl rights, like child marriage, child abuse, and societal violence.