Rapes assuming epidemic proportions in Pak's Sindh province

Written by: Ani
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Karachi, Jan 21(ANI): 120 cases of rape, including six of gang rape, were reported in Pakistan's Sindh province between May 1, 2008 to October 31, 2008, provincial Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza has said.

Responding to the queries of lawmakers, Mirza also informed the Sindh Assembly that the maximum number of rape cases- 33- were reported in Karachi alone, while 15 cases of sexual assault and nine of gender harassment were also reported in the province during the same period.

Although the Sindh Home Department has established complaint cells at every police station of the province, women do not report such cases due to social compulsions and restrictions, he added.

The ratio between the number of crimes, including rape and gape rape, and conviction of the accused was very low because of the lack of protection for the witnesses, The Nation quoted Mirza, as saying in response to another question.

However, his department had submitted a plan to the chief minister for rehabilitating the witnesses at safer places, he added.

To another question, Mirza told the House that 38 cases of physical abuse of women, 37 of domestic violence and one case of acid-burn were reported during the same period.

He said that an Anti-Honour Killing Cell had been established in Sindh Police, currently functioning in the Sukkur region with the assistance of UNDP. However, no women police officer was working at the facility.

Awareness and education could change the mindset of people to honour women and avoid violence against them, the provincial Home Minister remarked. (ANI)

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