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November 13, 2020

Only 0.3pc rape suspects convicted in past 6 years

November 13, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Only 0.3 percent suspects in more than 22,000 rape case have been convicted in Pakistan in last half a decade, official statistics revealed for the first time ever, depicting a grim situation of heinous crime. The bleak picture of poor conviction rate comes when startling rape statistics are being witnessed across the country catching an outrage after a woman raped on motorway and a little girl gang-raped in Kashmore recently.

Only 18 percent of cases reported to police since 2015 have reached the level of prosecution, revealed multiple official figures exclusively gathered by Geo News flagship programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, pointing to serious loopholes in the existing criminal justice system of the country. The year 2020 witnessed the highest rise ever in rape cases, revealed official statistics.

"It is the tip of the iceberg," said a senior police officer, whose assessment suggested that this number might be half of the total rape cases reported with police. More than 41 percent cases are not reported to police due to social pressure and flawed system, add the police officer who is engaged in the process of collecting data from different organizations since months.

"Pakistan reports at least 11 rape cases daily," suggested the official data on rape cases this correspondent exclusively acquired from police of Punjab, Sindh, KP, Balochistan, federal capital, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. In its seven weeks intensive investigation, Geo News got official figures which revealed that over 22,037 rape cases were registered in past six years.

Data obtained from Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan further revealed that 4,060 (18 percent) cases are under trial in courts across the country. Only 77 (0.3 percent) accused were convicted and police have submitted 2,747 (12 percent) challans in courts, official data shows. Some 1, 274 (5 percent) rape cases have been decided while 1,192 accused got acquittal. The country's police said that only half of rape cases are registered and actual number of rape cases might be more than 60,000.

No rape suspect was convicted in AJK, GB, one conviction happened in Balochistan, five in KP, six in Sindh and 65 culprits convicted in Punjab in past six years, revealed official data. Fifteen cases are under trial in AJK, 35 in Islamabad, 41 in Balochistan, 177 in KP, 3,479 in Punjab and 311 cases are being pleading in different courts in Sindh, according to official data. Some 43 cases of acquittal were witnessed in 43 cases in Sindh, 1, 134 in Punjab, 8 in KP, six in Balochistan and one suspect was acquitted in AJK during this period.

More than 18,609 rape cases were reported in Punjab in past six years, official data revealed. Police registered some 3,379 rape cases registered in first eight months of 2020, 3,362 in 2019, 3,300 cases in 2018, 2,889 cases in 2017, 2,942 cases in 2016 and 2,737 cases in 2015. Among top six districts with maximum rape cases were Faisalabad with 1, 443 cases, Lahore with 1, 490, Muzaffargarh with 1,009, Rahim Yar Khan with 972, Multan with 821, Pakpattan with 772 and 664 rape cases were registered in Bahawalnagar during this period.

Police registered more than 1, 873 cases in Sindh during this period. 340 cases were reported in 2020, 310 in 2019, 337 in 2018, 289 in 2017, 271 in 2016 and 326 rape cases were registered in 2015. Over 448 cases were reported in Karachi only in past three years, according to official data. Some 112 in 2020, 176 in 2019 and 160 cases registered in 2018. Only 259 accused were arrested in the port city.

129 rape cases were registered in Balochistan in past six years. Around 25 rape cases were registered in 2020, 22 in 2019, 20 in 2018, 23 in 2017, 19 in 2016 and 20 cases were registered in 2015. With 35 registered rape cases, Quetta remains at top while 25 cases were registered in Naseerabad and 14 cases recorded in Kalat.

Over 1, 183 rape cases were registered in during these six years in KP. Over 235 cases were registered in 2020, 264 in 2019, 212 in 2018, 198 in 2017, 136 in 2016 and 138 rape cases were registered in 2015, according to official figures.

Over 210 rape cases registered in the federal capital in past six years. Some 35 rape cases were registered in 2020, 38 in 2019, 37 in 2018, 26 in 2017, 39 in 2016 and 35 cases were registered in 2015 in Islamabad, official figures revealed. AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan recorded 31 cases collectively during this time.

During off the record interviews with police officials, activists associated with Aurat Foundation, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and child welfare organisations, this correspondent has learnt that thousands of women/children had experienced sexual violence but they never reported to police due to societal pressure. Such cases are settled under some kind of customary practices like tribesmen settled the disputes. No government or private organisations have such organized data or statistics in-fact. The conviction rate in cases of sexual and other violence against women and children remained critically low, they confirmed.