Solution lies in Islamic punishments, nothing else

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 12:54 PM, 15 Sep, 2020
Solution lies in Islamic punishments, nothing else
Motorway gang-rape victim's car.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for public hanging of those involved in sexual abuse of women and children and castration of habitual rapists would certainly lead to a serious debate at all fora. Parliamentarians, religious leaders, human rights organizations and people belonging to different walks of life would come up with conflicting opinions on this important matter. However, ultimately it is for the elected legislators to take a final decision in the light of the government’s policy.

Castration (also known as orchiectomy or orchidectomy) is any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which an individual loses the use of the testicles: the male gonad. Surgical castration is bilateral orchidectomy (excision of both testes), and chemical castration uses pharmaceutical drugs to deactivate the testes.

The premier came up with his views in a TV interview after the public rage at the gang rape of a mother on the motorway a few days ago in the presence of her children, a shameful incident that has further tarnished the already poor image of the Islamic republic across the world. 

It has provided the enemies of Pakistan with a strong propaganda weapon.  

In the interview, PM Khan argued that after castration sex criminals would not be able to commit such crimes in the future.

He said habitual sex offenders should be registered and they should remain under the vigilant eye of the police.

Mr Khan said he received a report from the police on sex abuse and was shocked to find out that sex crimes had been increasing in the country. However, he noted, hanging of a rapist publicly might be opposed internationally. 

As a matter of fact, there is no need for innovations and the government should just enforce Islamic punishments to control crime. Punishments for all crimes are already known and the government has only to take steps to make them effective. No political party can dare oppose such a move. 

This is all the more incumbent upon the present rulers who talk tirelessly of making Pakistan a Madinah-like state.

Had convicts been hanged, flogged for the commission of various crimes or thieves’ hands been amputated, the crime graph would have nosedived across the country. But, unfortunately, the government has done nothing on this front.

Under the fear of reaction from the West, the government is not even taking to the gallows some 7,400 death-row prisoners in the country. They remain a burden on state resources.

In such a situation why the would-be criminals not feel encouraged to go ahead with their dirty agenda?

When executions are not taking place, every prisoner knows he will come out of jail one day to resume his criminal activities.

A moratorium on executions was imposed in 2008.  As a result, no execution took place between 2009 and 2011. Only one execution was reported in 2012 and none in 2013.

The moratorium was lifted after the 2014 massacre of 132 students and staff of the Army Public School, Peshawar. 

Seven executions took place that year and 326, 87, 65 and 14 in the subsequent four years.

No hanging has been reported during the present rule.

It can be said without any iota of doubt that punishments have lost deterrence – except the Islamic punishments. In some cases, even the capital punishment doesn’t deter the criminal.

To elaborate the point the writer will recall an incident that took place during Gen Zia’s rule when the crime was kept under control through exemplary punishments.

One Ghiasa of Sanat Nagar, Lahore, had been awarded capital punishment in a case. A day before his hanging was to take place the military authorities took some journalists to Kot Lakhpat jail for an interview with the condemned prisoner (who happened to be a teacher’s son).  

In the presence of then jail superintendent Masood Qureshi (father of famous Dr Faisal Masood who passed away only recently), the writer (then working for news agency PPI) met Ghiasa. He was absolutely a normal being, having no fear of being hanged after some hours.

I asked him what if by some miracle he was released immediately.  He said “I will try to lead a normal life. But if not allowed, Ghiasa will be back”.

He was executed the following morning. But he can be seen reincarnated in countless shapes.

The best solution of the aggravating crime situation and declining values lies in the immediate enforcement of Islamic punishments. There is no need for new experiments or fear of retaliatory measures from any Western country.