"What I think is that there should be chemical castration."
Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for the worst sex offenders to be hanged or chemically castrated.
This comes after the gang rape of a woman in Pakistan caused outrage.
PM Khan made the comments while calling for “exemplary sentences” for the woman’s rapists, saying he would sentence them to be hanged at the site of the attack.
However, he went on to say that the hangings would probably result in Pakistan being punished by the European Union. He then suggested chemical castration as an alternative.
The horrific crime involved a woman who was dragged from her car at gunpoint and raped in front of her two children after her car broke down.
On September 14, 2020, Khan said:
“What I think is that there should be chemical castration, I have read it is happening in many countries.
“The way murder is graded: First, second and third-degree. This should also be graded, and for first-degree (sex crimes) there should be castration.”
The attack took place in the early hours of September 10, 2020. The victim had been driving on the highway near Lahore when her car broke down.
She locked the car doors and called for assistance. However, a group of men smashed the window and dragged her out before help arrived.
The woman was raped and later robbed by the men.
Police had arrested 15 men but said that none of them were directly involved. Officers have since named two suspects as Shafqat Ali and Abid Malhi.
PM Imran Khan spoke out after Shafqat was arrested. Police said his DNA matched samples found at the scene and that he confessed.
Ali was arrested following a police raid on his home village in Punjab.
Chief Minister Uzman Buzdar said raids were underway to arrest Malhi.
PM Khan also said that Malhi had been involved in another gang rape in 2013.
A third suspect has been named but has claimed no wrongdoing because a friend was using his SIM card at the time of the attack. He remains in custody but has not been charged.
The case has caused outrage where sexual assaults are reportedly common and rape is rarely prosecuted.
Human rights activists say as few as two per cent of rape cases end in conviction.
Activists also called for Lahore police chief Umar Sheikh to be removed from his role. This came after he blamed the victim for going out without a male companion and running out of fuel.
Sheikh later apologised, saying he had not intended to hold the woman responsible for her ordeal.