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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet approved on Tuesday a draft law that stipulates harsh punishments, including chemical castration, for rape offenders in order to curb growing incidence of sexual violence against women and children in the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who chaired a meeting of the cabinet, said it is a serious matter. Therefore, he added, there should be no delay in implementing the law in order to provide a safe environment to people.

Prime Minister Khan said the legislation should be transparent and enforced effectively to curb such despicable acts. Some cabinet members were of the view that rapists be hanged publically while others demanded that capital punishment be made part of the draft law.

However, the premier said the government will opt for chemical castration law initially.

A legal team of the government has completed its work on the proposed anti-rape law that calls for speedy trial of rape cases, woman policing and provision of protection to prosecution witnesses.

Once the law comes into effect, PM Khan said rape survivors will be able to lodge complaints without any fear and special care will be taken to keep their identity under wraps.

After the meeting, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari tweeted: “The Cabinet approved in principle 2 critical Ordinances to deal holistically with the crime of rape & child abuse & to make the necessary amendments in the PPC: The Anti-Rape (Investigation & Trial) Ordinance 2020 & the Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2020”. NNI