LATEST BLOGSZainab: A child we failed as a nation
This account is a vent of despair and mourning.
Because anger and pain have died a long ago.
While I write this I realize for the millionth time that nothing would ever suffice – or so far has proved to suffice – to shake this nation.
In 2015, Pakistan’s biggest child molestation scandal from the city of Kasur, Punjab came to light. About 300 children, between 10-16 years, were sexually assaulted, videotaped and later (hundreds of) these video clippings were put on porn sites and parents were blackmailed for extortion.
Many newspapers reported the clear complicity of local police and political leadership behind aggravation and concealment of this heinous crime that was occurring since 2010.
After the dawn of the shocking criminality, there was a nation-wide outrage that remains rocketed for few days – as usual – and lasted till the next breaking news.
His Highness, Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif, took notice – as usual – and announced the JIT. The criminals, till date, are off the hook.
In a news report published in ‘The Nation’ on December 20, 2017, the residents of the Kasur announced ‘self-immolation’ because they claimed that the rapists are not only fully supported but, are given protocol (for their noble act) by the Punjab Government.
Just not this, it was further revealed that the victims and their families are given threats by rapists from jail through mobile phones and the local police, backed by influential people, are carrying vindictive acts against the families of the victims.
The families are attacked every now and then and are intimidated to withdraw the cases.
The report further said that the poor parents of the victims are neither receiving any legal assistance to fight their cases nor given any security by the Punjab Government while they appear in courts amidst of threats by offenders.
It all went unnoticed.
The new-year began with a heart breaking story of a 7-year-old Zainab who was raped, killed and later trashed in the same city of Kasur that is infested by the paedophiles.
The unfortunate little girl was on her way to tuition when she was abducted and later molested by some beasts while her parents were away to perform Umrah.
As per the last update, His Highness, Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif, took notice – as usual – and directed the swift arrest of culprits.
Zainab lost her life to brutality because the state failed her.
Because it couldn’t hang the criminals and punish the accomplices in this atrocious crime to set a precedent and create deterrence in the society.
Because we allowed ourselves to be repeatedly fooled by few notices by a man who is directly responsible for protecting the molesters and guilty of justice being denied to the grieving families.
Because we were too coward to question ‘Khadim-e-Aala’ how his Law Minister went unquestioned for insulting the poor kids for attributing the scandal to a ‘land dispute’.
Because we didn’t dare to hold the man – who is reigning a province straight for almost a decade now – accountable for not punishing the MPA of his party for keeping the practice of paedophilia and pornography under the wraps, for actively supporting the sinners and using his influence to discharge charges against the perpetrators.
Zainab lost her life to barbarity because we, as a nation, failed her. Because we are so stony that a cruelty like child abuse couldn’t budge us.
Because we are apathetic people who couldn’t stand up for saving our children from molestation.
Because we are so heartless that we silently saw thieves robbing off our children a healthy and happy future.
Because we choose not to see the monsters hiding behind the sham pretence of our rulers.
Because we are shamelessly ignorant people who vote – and will still vote – for the facilitators and abettors of such crimes.
Because we refuse to accept that we are the part of the problem.
Because we have lost our collective conscience.
While we mourn Zainab, let us promise ourselves that we will not let this issue die