news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 24, 2014 | 04:59 pm IST 

Amidst several internal issues including home grown terrorism, Pakistan seems to have been plagued with a problem quite different in nature.

Several amendment bills were introduced in the National Assembly in Pakistan earlier this week, one of them being an amendment bill aimed at curbing cannibalism.

According to a report by the The Express Tribune , “Section 297-B states that whoever exhumes corpse or any part of corpse with intent to cook, eat, sell or to use for magic purposes, among others, shall be imprisoned, either for a specified term, which shall not be less than ten years or for life. The convict shall also be liable to pay a fine.”

The bill is said to have been introduced following the disturbing incidence in which two brothers from the Darya Khan town in Pakistan were caught engaging in acts of cannibalism earlier this year.

In June, the two brothers, Mohammad Arif Ali and Mohammad Farman Ali, were sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment. The two had been arrested in April after the severed head of a child was found in their house.

This was the second time the brothers were caught on similar charges. In 2011, they were caught eating flesh from a corpse that they had stolen from a local graveyard, causing widespread uproar in the area. The couple had allegedly dug out the corpse of a 24-year-old woman and made curry out of the flesh.

Arif and Farman were reported to have dug up and devoured around 150 bodies from a nearby cemetery in 2011.

Since Pakistan does not have any specific laws against cannibalism, the brothers then were convicted on charges of ‘spreading fear and damaging property’, apart from desecrating a grave , reported BBC. They ended up serving two years in prison.

Tim Craig in his blog in The Washington Post writes that Pakistan has recorded several incidences of cannibalism over the years. He quotes Nikhat Shakeel Khan, a medical doctor, as having said to a The Washington Post reporter, as saying “Most of these cannibals have mental problems, but we hope to stop them as well as those who use body parts for magic and witchcraft.”

The proposed law, if it were to be approved, ‘it appears that the country would actually have one of the world’s more clearly-defined cannibalism statutes’, wrote Craig.

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