A place which was known to host the greatest of all Sufi saint, Baba Bulleh Shah who preached peace and tranquility his whole life mourns the death of a 7-year-old. Issues pertaining to sexual abuse tend to remain a threat to Pakistan`s “Ghairat” where horrendous criminals are related to the victim in one way or the other.
The ruling party never fails to emphasize on the sanctity of the vote since their leader was sacked by the Supreme Court in the Panama judgment. The dreadful truth is those five members of the national assembly and subsequent ten members of the provincial assembly hailing from district Kasur are nowhere to be found. The infamous child abuse scandal of 2015 surfaced in a village near Kasur where a racket of sexual predators was busted with accomplices from political parties and civil administration. The so-called Khadme Ala sahb may be unaware of the fact that two culprits in the aforementioned case enjoy complete amenities in jail.
Civil and judicial institutions are not to be held accountable alone for the lacunas in the existing system. The state of neglect pertaining to sexual abuse and assault questions the moral stature of our nation where withdrawing complaints, court settlements under political influence and blood money serve as a “get out of jail card” for perpetrators of sexual abuse and child molestation. Lately, the civil society and media representatives have put out apt demands to include sex education and awareness as part of the curriculum which may be a first step in eradicating the social taboo. It is imperative to recognize them as crimes against humanity and encourage all those affected to voice their concerns. Though curriculum amendments and media awareness may be a partial solution, sexual abuse proves out to be a much deeper malaise. For an average household how on earth do we expect a mother to teach her children how to abstain from close family members if they are discomforted? Is it easy for parents to cast a shadow of doubt regarding the character of the cleric teaching their child in the conservative society we live in?
The impeccable reality is to accept misdemeanors and corrupted morality which prevails across the country and undertake sincere efforts as a community to prevent another Zainab from being lost in the darkness. The critics or clergy won’t hesitate to provide us with outlying excuses to lament upon, it’s time to speak up and look around.
Shehryar Imran Ejaz
Student – Lahore University of Management Sciences