Pakistan has a variety of criminal laws that are designed to protect the public and punish those who break the law. These laws cover a wide range of offenses, from minor infractions to major crimes. Pakistani law enforcement officials take a proactive approach to enforcing these laws, and they are generally effective in doing so. However, there are some areas where the law is not as clear or as well-enforced as it could be. For example, Pakistan’s criminal laws do not always provide clear guidance on how to deal with cybercrime or terrorism. This can make it difficult for law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute these types of offenses.
Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) is the code of criminal law in Pakistan. It was originally prepared by Lord Macaulay with modifications by the Government of India Act 1935. The code is divided into five chapters, each dealing with a specific category of offences. The first chapter deals with general principles, the second with offences against the State, the third with offences against the public tranquillity, the fourth with offences against the person and the fifth with offences against property.
The Offences Relating to Religion
Pakistan’s laws on “offences related to religion”, commonly known as “blasphemy laws”, include a variety of “crimes”, such as “misusing” the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad, desecrating the Quran, and insulting Islam. These laws are often used to target religious minorities, such as Christians and Ahmadis, as well as atheists and agnostics. The penalties for blasphemy can be severe, ranging from a fine to death.
The use of these laws has increased in recent years, with a sharp rise in the number of blasphemy-related offences reported since 2010. This increase is due in part to the growing power of extremist groups in Pakistan, who often pressure the government to punish those accused of blasphemy. In addition, there has been a proliferation of social media platforms that allow people to anonymously level accusations of blasphemy against others.
The Pakistani government has taken some steps to address the problem of false accusations of blasphemy, but more
Pakistan has a variety of laws that penalize blasphemy against any recognized religion. These laws, which are commonly known as “blasphemy laws”, include a variety of crimes such as disturbing a religious assembly, insulting religious beliefs, and trespassing on burial grounds. These laws have been used to target minority groups and individuals who criticize the government. The blasphemy laws of Pakistan have led to a climate of fear and self-censorship, and have resulted in the imprisonment and murder of innocent people.
The Pakistan Penal Code criminalizes blasphemy against any recognized religion, with punishments ranging from a fine to death. The code also penalizes Takfir, meaning one Muslim declaring another Muslim as an infidel. These laws are aimed at preventing religious and sectarian hatred. However, research shows that police ineffectiveness in investigating and enforcing these laws has resulted in slow convictions and the persecution of minorities. In 2015, the government of Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty, resulting in executions for non-terrorism related offences. This has further increased the risk for minorities who may be convicted of blasphemy under these laws.
The Offences Against the State
Punishment of offences committed within Pakistan.
Every person shall be liable to punishment under this Code and not otherwise for every act or omission
Punishment of criminal conspiracy.
CHAPTER VI. OF OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE.
121. Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against
The offences against the State may be classified as under:
(v) Defiling or unauthorized removing the National Flag of Pakistan from Government Building etc.
(S Except murder, and offences against the State punishable with death, nothing is an offence which is done by a person who is compelled to do it by
Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 specifies the extent of punishments against different crimes and offences committed within Pakistan and beyond Pakistan but which by The Pakistan Penal Code 1860 (hereinafter referred to as Penal Code) provides punishment for acts of mischief by damaging or destroying property
Punishment of offences committed within Pakistan.
Every person shall be liable to punishment under this Code and not otherwise for every act or omission which, if committed or done within the territorial limits of Pakistan, would be punishable by any law in force in Pakistan.
The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), Pakistan’s primary anti-terrorism statute, provides for a range of penalties for terrorism-related offences, including non-terrorism related offences. The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Act, 2017 (Act No. 1005) amended the ATA to extend the definition of terrorism and terrorist finance, and to provide for increased penalties for these offences. The Pakistan Penal Code (XLV of 1860) also extends penalties for giving false evidence in relation to a terrorist offence.
The following statutes comprise the core of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism legislation: 1. The Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997; 2. The Criminal Procedure Code, 1898; 3. The Explosives Act, 1884; 4. The Telegraph Act, 1885; and 5. The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.
We critically examine the definition of ‘terrorism’ in the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 of Pakistan and as it is
The law dealing with cyber crimes in Pakistan is Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (“Act”). The Act is applicable to every citizen of Pakistan and provides punishments for a range of cybercrimes, including cyberstalking, spamming, and online defamation. The maximum punishment for these offences is 3 years imprisonment or a fine of up to PKR 3 lac.
Honour Killings and Acid Attacks
The 2004 amendment to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was a defining moment in the fight against honour killings in Pakistan. The amendment defined karo kari (honour killings) as murder, and thus made them punishable by law. This was a crucial step in combating this heinous practice, which claims the lives of many women every year.
Sadly, harassment, discrimination, sexual assault, child marriages and honor killings are still reality for many women in Pakistan. Patriarchy deprives them of their basic rights and puts them at risk of violence. A study by the Acid Survivors Foundation in Islamabad reported that there has been a 50% decline in acid crime cases across Pakistan since the amendment was enacted. However, acid crimes are still one of the most violent forms of gender-based violence present in Pakistan today.
There is still much work to be done to protect women’s rights in Pakistan. But the 2004 amendment was a
Rape and Zina Laws in Pakistan
Pakistan has a very strict and severe criminal justice system when it comes to rape and zina laws. If a man and woman have sexual intercourse without being married, it is considered zina and punishable by law. The 2006 Act removed the crime of rape from the Hudood Ordinances and added it to section 375 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which now defines rape as any man who has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. This is a much more progressive definition of rape, and one that better protects women’s rights.