Lawmakers belonging to both the National Assembly and Senate are receiving threats for refusing to move the parliament for the legalisation of homosexuality in Pakistan, senior journalist and analyst Hamid Mir has claimed.
In his latest column for Daily Jang, Mir has quoted a senator as saying that students of a reputable educational institution are nowadays approaching parliamentarians to move the house for the legalisation of homosexuality in the country.
“They [the youngsters] have been contacting different lawmakers and demanding, that like many other countries, homosexuality should be legalised in Pakistan,” the journalist quoted the senator as saying.
He claimed that when the lawmaker advised one of the students to focus on religion and praying five times a day so that “their thoughts do not go astray”, the youngster urged the senator to at least move the Upper House in this regard.
“When the senator strongly turned down the student’s demand, they were threatened by the youngsters,” Mir wrote. He further claimed that some students have also approached parliamentarians belonging to religio-political parties, but they not yet responded.
HOMOSEXUALITY IN PAKISTAN:
The Colonial British government criminalised homosexuality in India under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860. Pakistan, after independence, adapted the same laws under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
In the 1980s, rules against homosexuality stiffened even more under General Muhammad Ziaul Haq. The punishment for homosexual activities increased to life imprisonment or even death by stoning as a result of the Sharia Law added to the PPC.
Religious leaders have consistently forbidden and condemned homosexual activities as being immoral under the constitution of Islam. People in Pakistan, who identify themselves as homosexual, do not expose their sexual preference in public due to the fear of being looked down upon or physically attacked.