Abuse and killing of Zainab-another unfortunate incident

Muhammad Arif

Pakistan in 2017 and now in 2018 is passing through many unfortunate incidents all targeting low trodden classes specifically children and women.
Apart from what is happening on political and economic scenario our whole social system has come under severe threat.
This is what we have sowed some years later. Taliban, MQM and many Nationalist movements all have been built either by elites or other powerful institutions for their own use.
In this back ground in the second week of January 2018 hundreds of protesters, enraged over the murder of a young girl Zainab in Kasur clashed with the police demanding justice. At least two people were killed when the police opened fire on the protesters in the city of Kasur.
Protesters were saying that they were outraged over the police’s inability to stop a spree of child killings in the district. The police say at least 12 children have been killed within a radius of about a mile in the past two years in Kasur.
The violence emerged after the body of a girl, Zainab Amin, whose father said she was around 7, was found on a pile of garbage near a busy road in the district of Kasur. The city is about 30 miles from Lahore, the capital of Punjab Province. This is worthy to note that father of Zainab with his wife was away on Umrrah during kidnapping of Zainab.
This is also worthy to note that Islam has made hajj once in a life when a person has fulfilled all his obligations as parents or have got way from other family responsibilities. But in the last 40-50 years every one tries to perform hajj each year with Ummrahs as and when he likes. In spite of this trend we are seeing hype in criminal activities and increase in corruption in all parts of the country. This does not reflect that hajj, Umrrah or prayer has any role in it but basically after doing these arkans we all then forget our basic responsibilities as promulgated by Allah.
Rights activists like Moulana Khadim or others accuse the Pakistani authorities of having long failed to protect children, particularly in Kasur. In 2015, the district made grim headlines when the police arrested a group of men accused of abusing hundreds of children and selling videos of the acts. People also remember that when Malala Yusuf Zai was fired every religious party claimed that it was a drama. So these people have no place to fight against Vaderas, Khans, Sardars and other elites where young girls and boys with women are used for the sexual desire.
Pakistan has a dismal record on child protection. At least 100 children had been murdered after sexual violence in 2016. Punjab, the most populous of the country’s four provinces, had the worst record that year, with 2,676 cases of child abuse reported in the region.
People cannot forget that in 2002, 30-year-old Mukhtaran Bibi was gang raped on the orders of the village council as an “honor rape”. In 2011, the Supreme Court too acquitted the accused in the case. In 2005 a woman claimed to have been gang raped by four police officers for refusing to pay them a bribe so her husband would be released from prison. One officer was arrested and three have disappeared. A 23-year-old woman in Faisalabad made public accusations against the police, saying her husband had been arrested for creating forged documents; she alleges she was raped on the orders of the chief of police for her actions. The officer was suspended but not arrested. Kainat Soomro was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when she was kidnapped and gang raped for four days. Her protest has led to the murder of her brother, a death sentence from the elders of her village, and threats from the rapists, who after four years still remain at large. Shazia Khalid was raped in Baluchistan. In 2012 three members of the Border Police were remanded into custody for raping five women aged between fifteen and twenty-one. The women claim they were taken from a picnic area to the police station in Dera Ghazi Khan, where the police filmed themselves sexually assaulting the women. In January 2014, a village council ordered gang-rape was carried out in the same Muzaffargarh district where the Mukhtaran Bibi took place in 2002. On 19 June 2014, a 21-year-old woman was gang raped and murdered in Layyah district, Punjab province of Pakistan. In September 2014, three sons of Mian Farooq, a ruling party parliamentarian from Faisalabad were accused of abducting and gang raping of a teenage girl. The rapists were later released by the court. In July 2017, a Panchayat ordered rape of 16 years old girl in Multan as punishment for her brother’s conduct. In December 2017, a 25 years old girl was gang-raped by four dacoits during a robbery at her house in Multan. In December 2017, a girl who married against the wishes of her family was allegedly raped by influential members of a Panchayat.
In January 2018 a 16 years old girl was raped and killed in Sargodha, and a day later, in the same city, a 13 years old boy was intoxicated and sexuality assaulted by two men belonging to influential family. In Faisalabad, the same day, a 15 years old boy was found dead. The later medical reports confirmed a sexual assault.
Child sexual abuse is widespread in Pakistani Islamic schools (Madressahs) and other schools as well. In a study of child sexual abuse in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, out of a sample of 300 children 17% claimed to have been abused.
Child abuse has now become the fastest growing crimes in Pakistan. Children are more vulnerable these days, it is reported that there was a 3 percent increase in child abuse last year. The girls are subjected to more abuse almost 72 percent in 2011 and this abuse was continuous and much more consistent as compared to boys. Pakistan is a country that does very little in safeguarding its young children from the many disgust of child abuse that they are exposed to in and around the green pastures.
According to UNICEF the issue is especially noticed and keenly observed in the KPK region, where the surveyed victims did not even realize that sexual abuse is a crime. In Karachi 170,000 children live on the streets. Ninety percent of them have been sexually abused. Even the upper class in Pakistan is not exempted. In Pakistan much of the population lives in the muddied slums where children are forced to play their part in the day to day survival of the family.
To avoid child abuse it is important for children to grow in a positive and loving home environment, where parents are approachable for their kids to express their concerns without feeling judged. This openness in communication can not only help vigilant parents protect their children from potential sex predators, but also lend victims of sex abuse the strength to heal.
For against child abuse, Pakistan has a Child Protection Policy whose vision is stated to promote and create a protective environment for all children which ensures their protection against all forms of violence, abuse, discrimination, neglect and exploitation. But unfortunately it is not implemented in true spirit.
In this context parents are advised to be vigilant and don’t leave the child unsupervised for a long period of time with an adult, be it the tutor, the Maulana sahib teaching the Quran, a trusted domestic servant, friend or even an aunt or uncle. Child sexual abuse is known to be carried out not just by strangers, but also by close family members and acquaintances that enjoy the trust of parents and have easy access to the child.
Parents must strictly pay attention to their child’s mood changes. Aggression or depression, eating or sleeping disorders, loss of interest in daily affairs or academics, fear of or displeasure towards certain persons or places may be significant signs.
Finally people must also learn to protest not by burning Motor Vehicles and property of those who have no concern with the crime. They should also not listen to Sh Rasheed, Imran Khan, Shahbaz Sahreef and Zardari whose love stories are on the streets. In this regard best examples are Tehmina Daultana “My Feudal Lord” and Reham Khan story with attempt of a leader to marry a woman with five children from her first husband. The first husband claims that she is highly pious and sincere woman without explaining, than why he divorced her. In this environment we can expect any good thing from these leaders for eradicating child abuse.
Than what is the remedy? Basically it is the people war and they have to fight at their own by creating pressures through peaceful means. This is how we can overcome the crisis now looking highly dangerous.

Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), former Member of IFSB on Islamic Money Market, former Head of FSCD SBP, former Head of Research Arif Habib Investments, Member of Access to Justice Funds Supreme Court of Pakistan Member visiting Faculty/ KASBIT/BIZTEK/Sheikh Zayed Institute University of Karachi/PAF KIET/MAJU

TFD