Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan, rape kits

Minister says Pakistan will produce affordable rape kits

Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry says we hope to begin a concentrated programme to produce our own rape kits in the next few months.

During his speech in the parliament, he said imported rape kits are expensive and therefore inaccessible.

He also suggested to have trained women officers investigating rape cases with male officers assisting them.

The minister’s reasoning is that there is no point in talking about increasing punishments for rapists when Pakistan can’t even convict rapists. He said the country’s conviction rate in rape cases is 5%.

The Lahore-Sialkot road incident hurt the entire country, we’re sad and we’re angry, he said, referring to the rape of a woman in front of her three children on September 9.

People want public hanging but there is a lot of anger in this demand, he said. Despite dozens of cases like this, we see no end to them, he said.

We remember them for 10 days, 15 days, a month and then we forget and wait for the next case, said Chaudhry.

He said people have demanded public hangings as a solution to rape cases.

There are 5,000 reported rapes in Pakistan every year, he said, and if we were to count the unreported rapes there would be thousands more. There is a 5% conviction rate. In 2019, Chaudhry said there were 3,881 cases, which is 581 more than 2018. If those, 190 were gang rapes, he said.

People don’t register cases because the victims believe, whatever happened to their body has happened, but her soul will be subjected to thousands of questions from society if she does, said the minister. “They also don’t register cases because they might get a senior police official who says ‘when you left your house why didn’t you check your fuel’,” he said.

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