Islamabad, Jul 2 (efe-epa).- Pakistan-controlled Kashmir has passed a bill allowing chemical or surgical castration as a punishment for those found guilty of child sexual abuse, so that it serves as a deterrent for others, the legislator who introduced the enactment told EFE on Thursday.
“Child abuse is very heinous crime and it happens that child abusers are out of jail after few years and then they start abusing the children again,” said Azad Kashmir’s member of Legislative Assembly, Ahmed Raza Qadri.
Qadri said it is for this reason he introduced the bill that was passed in the Assembly on Wednesday. “If they are out of jail they cannot abuse children again.”
Castration as a legal punitive measure is not existent in other parts of the Asian country.
The manner of castration, whether surgical or chemical, will be decided by the judiciary.
The bill also contemplates other possible punishments such as life imprisonment – which in Pakistan is 25 years – or even the death penalty.
“It will be up to the judge which sentence he awards keeping in view the circumstances,” explained Raza.
The bill will need to be signed by Azad Kashmir President Masood Khan for it to become law, something Raza expects will happen in the next few days.
Azad Kashmir is a part of the Kashmir region that is under Pakistan and has its own president and prime minister. The other part of this Himalayan region is with India, with the Line of Control, or LoC, as the de facto border separating them.
Castration as a legal punishment for child sexual abuse exists in countries such as Indonesia, as well as in several states of the United States.
The rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in 2018 in of Kasur, in the eastern province of Punjab, resulted in protests across Pakistan, which led the government to admit 11 similar cases in the area in a year.
Around the beginning of this year, the parliament of Pakistan passed a law seeking to increase protection of minors, by creating a response mechanism in cases of disappearance and imposing stricter punishments against child abusers and lax policemen. EFE-EPA