When someone brings up the word children or we come across the innocent human beings, the only feelings that come to our minds are those of love, endearment, adoration and affection. There is an intrinsic feeling in human mind to protect children, whether it’s their own or someone else’s, from all the evil and vile of the world. But with the growing child sexual assault, it seems about right that maybe children need to be caught and locked up in their houses because the society is apparently not safe for our children anymore.
A two-years-old Zainab was found dead on Wednesday 7th October 2020 in the fields in the Daudzai area of Peshawar, close to Charsadda. A two-member team comprising Dr. Maimoona and Dr.Waqas of Charsadda District Headquarters Hospital issued a medical report after examining her dead body on 9th October 2020.
The residents and police have said that the girl had gone missing on Tuesday 6th October 2020. In the evening she was playing with other children outside her house in Sheikh Kally Qilla. Her father filed an FIR in the Prang Police Station of Charsadda. The police received the news of a dead body found in Jabba Korona near Daudzai the next day on 7th October 2020. Police has taken eight suspects into custody after recovering the dead body of Zainab.
Zainab’s father said that they had no animosity with anyone in their area. The devastated father questioned the heinous actions of the criminals with demanding that the culprits should be questioned as to why they had subjected a daughter of the nation to such a gruesome act.
The cruelty knows no bounds of gender or age. A ten-years-old boy was found dead in fields in Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday 8th October 2020. Nisar Ahmed; a resident of Basti Mid Mangla owns land and he had hired a young man named Pervez Lashari to help him. On Wednesday evening, Lashari took his ten years old son Abdullah to play with him and never returned. He sodomized Abdullah, strangled him to death and left his naked body to rot in the fields. On the complaint of Nisar, police have registered a case of murder against the criminal and arrested him who has confessed his crime.
It has been two years since justice was rightly served to the Zainab Amin of Kasur. The Supreme Court of Justice had announced death sentence for the prime criminal Imran Ali. He was hanged to death in the Kot Lakhpat Jail on 17th October 2018. Zainab was kidnapped by Imran Ali when she was out playing with her friends, brutally raped and was eventually murdered. She was recovered by police from a trash heap.
Kasur is not new to the concept of child sexual abuse cases. It was caught up under a huge storm after various video clips came out showing children having to perform forced sex acts. It involved around 300 children, mostly boys who were subjected to acts of forced sex and were videotaped by the blackmailers who sold these videos to porn websites. This barbarity did not happen under some private criminal organization but the Punjab Police and people from the ruling party were majorly involved in the cover up of this scandal.
When a child goes through an experience of such inhumanity at a tender age and he/she is lucky enough to survive physically. The scars of this incident never really stops haunting their young minds and bodies. These children might have an extremely difficult time in recovering from their trauma. In most cases, they never recover and keep lingering in the vicious past. They can never grow up to become the effective and fruitful citizens for the society. Because of the fears that have been embedded in their soul from their childhood.
It’s not only traumatic and harmful for the kids and their families but it costs the country a great deal of harm too. It might lose its young and bright minds owing to the child sexual abuse. Sometimes, these children never come out to their parents or to anyone else. They spend their lives under the trauma of their past and die a death where no one gets to know about the helplessness with which they spent their entire life. Hundreds of NGO’s have come out especially for Child Protection and helping the kids who have faced any form of sexual abuse in their childhood.
The United Nations Organization (UNO) came up with a resolution specifically for Child protection in 1989 under the name of UN Convention on the Rights of Children which provides for the safety of children both inside and outside their homes. The articles 19, 34, 35, 37 and 39 are specifically dedicated to the prevention of children from sexual abuse. It has granted special responsibilities towards the legislative, administrative, social, political and educational sectors to assure the safety of children from all sorts of violence.
Lots of ideas and policies are given sporadically by people belonging to all sectors of life for child protection. We have a mob mentality, which is not going to make our society any safer for children. What we need to do, is increase awareness around sexual violence.
These incidents of child sexual abuse continue to happen in a Pakistan where so many sexual assault cases are rotting in courts wailing for justice. Our children are highly unsafe in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Islamic Republic which was founded on the principles of Islam and values of Muhammad. He had always insisted on giving proper love, care and respect to children because they are as delicate as flowers.
There is no answer to what we can do to protect our children. Pakistan is not safe for animals and dead bodies anymore so how can we expect our children to be safe? Is it the law enforcement agencies, the governments, the NGOs, the Justice courts or simply the parenting techniques that will save our children from such vile activities? How many more Zainabs will have to sacrifice their lives un till our Islamic Republic of Pakistan becomes a safe and sound vicinity for children?
Author is doing BS in International Relation from Lahore College for Women University. She is a freelance writer. Previously worked with The Frontier Post, Dawn and Express Tribune.