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The winter of our discontent

Along cold winds and deathly fog this winter appeared the blood numbing story of a little girl’s abduction, rape, murder in what has now come to be known as Pakistan’s ‘rape-capital,’; Kasur.

The face of Zainab’s father, eyes stunned, walk befuddled, words startled paints a mirror image of what our society is today.

The shocked parents, who returned from their Umra trip to a home dismantled and their lives dismembered, have become a symbol of grief so deep that it shatters our confidence in humanity.

The rape and murder has unlocked many questions, that ought to have been raised much earlier, such as passing laws to protect children form sexual and other abuse, sex-education and awareness in school curricula, safe-guarding children from all potential offenders, (even within the family,) the need to be extremely careful and choosy about child-care to the point of paranoia.

These issues have great import and must be considered. But, the more pertinent question at present is what and how the offender should be dealt with.

Most of the people are asking for a public-hanging, with a purpose of scaring off future abusers.

Society, disgusted at it’s own evil face wants to shed it off publicly, an act of purging, a cleansing, or even a sacrifice – a sacrifice to somehow alleviate the pain and agony of the parents, not only Zaniab’s, but those of other such victims.

The abhorrent crime is exponentially enlarged by the apathy of provincial police (for 5 whole days and nights the police were unable to locate the child within an area composed of three lanes, so narrow, that cars cannot pass through) insensitivity of the government, (late night visit of the Chief Minister, the horrendous press conference on catching the criminal, the notorious clapping for the ever inefficient police, the switching off the microphone of Zainab’s father, lest he raises his voice against the powers that be, or demand a resignation or two), the maliciousness of Twitterati and sensationalizing by our press, not to mention our lust for even more information, conspiracy theories and the inevitable abandonment of this little girl’s fate.

We must discuss this story, and we must learn form this little girl and her family what pain is, and above all we must demand a befitting punishment and if that means public hanging, so be it.

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