Stories about pakistan penal code

Hey teacher, leave the kids alone!

Our childhood memories are often accompanied by words like ‘carefree days’, ‘playing in the sun’, ‘protected and loved’. Being picked up and spun around by loved ones or being pushed on a swing are memories that tend to stay with children throughout their life. However, sometimes I wonder if children today will collect memories in the same perspective? Sad though it is, I don’t think they will. With corporal punishment overshadowing their liveliness, it’s like a never-ending road trip with bad directions. Pakistan is among those few states where the method of beating children to discipline them is preferred and accepted ...

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Is it a crime in Pakistan for a boy to drop a girl home?

A few days ago, as a friend was dropping me back home after dinner; we were pulled aside by the cops on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz road in Defence, Karachi. No dark corner or shady alley but while driving smack in the middle of a bustling road. While we pulled over the car, the men in uniform, (who in all likelihood belonged to the Darakshan police station since the area falls under that jurisdiction) asked my friend to get out of the car. As expected, he was asked to produce the required ‘kaaghzaat’ and give details of our whereabouts. Upon inspection and failing ...

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Umar Akmal: A great player but a bitter citizen?

Umar Akmal became the subject of much debate because of his recent run-in with the police. He violated traffic rules by going through a red light and when stopped by the police, he tried to bully the traffic warden by flaunting his stature of being an international sportsman. Yes, he is a talented player but in this one incident, he proved himself to be a careless and nasty citizen. As a result of his actions, Akmal has been booked under Sections 186, 279 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to police reports, the 23-year-old Akmal did not stop at a traffic signal in ...

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Shameful but true: Pakistan laws remain those of our British overlords

It sounds like something out of ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’. Pakistan, in the scheme of things, is a young country. But the laws which govern it are old. Very old. Consider, for example, the country’s criminal law known as the Pakistan Penal Code. It was enacted in 1860 by the British Raj, Lord Macaulay. It was earlier known as the Indian Penal Code but was renamed after the partition in 1947. It was considered as the Code of Criminal Procedure, the regulation which regulates the functioning of all criminal courts in Pakistan, which was enacted in 1898. Other laws include –           The ...

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The problem lies not in our blasphemy law, but in ourselves

The blasphemy laws of the Pakistani Penal Code have been a subject of fierce debate ever since they were formed, under the regime of Ziaul Haq. Pakistan was born in the name of Islam and by its constitution, the Islamic way of life is to be propagated and protected. Pakistan was also born out of the dire need for religious freedom of the Muslims of the subcontinent. This message was displayed on the Pakistani flag, where a white band proudly streamed next to a wider green band, declaring to the world that while Pakistan was a Muslim state, the rights of all ...

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Chronicles of blasphemy

The British Raj criminalized blasphemy in 1860 and till 1986, the maximum punishment for the crime was ten years in prison. An amendment in 1986 created penalties of life imprisonment and death. This makes the Pakistani blasphemy laws the harshest in the world. Section 295 C awards the the death penalty for innuendo or insinuation. Words which, by very definition, are subjective. Our criminal system can put a person to death for vague terms. Here is an example: Muhammad Mehboob (alias Booba) was accused of putting ishtihars on the main gate of his local mosque which were allegedly against the dignity of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and hence ...

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