News Analysis |
A case has been registered against Major Ammara Riaz and her husband Dr. Mohsin Riaz for allegedly torturing their 11 years old worker. Kinza Bashir, a juvenile, was employed at the Major’s house for the last many years but she was reportedly subjected to immense abuse and torture for the last two months. “Ms. Ammara used to beat my sister for stealing food,” elder sister of Kinza told media. Two days ago, a video was shared on social media where a girl (Kinza) was showing her injuries and letting everyone know her tragic story.
The story became a top trend in Pakistan; Twitter users asked the government to take strict action against culprits.
This case should be a catalyst for #Pakistan to implement laws which make it a criminal offence to employ children for labour. Moreover, there should be compulsory schooling for every child from the age of 5-16 which the state should pay for out of taxes #JusticeForKinza— SNasser (@ShafiNasser2202) October 21, 2018
Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari took notice of the case and said the ministry is “keeping a close eye [on the matter] to ensure justice for the little girl”.
A police team has been sent to Sumandri to bring back the child and her parents. After Medical examination an FiR will be registered. Army has also been informed as the suspect is an Army doctor. We are keeping a close eye to ensure justice for the little girl https://t.co/Agt6Xn3soh
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 20, 2018
Apparently, after exerting the influence of her office Ms. Ammara got an affidavit by the father of Kinza, claiming the victim was trying to escape from the house and she fell down. “Nobody beat my daughter,” the affidavit reads. Dr. Mazari shared a photo of the affidavit and regretted that how poor parents are forced to sign documents like this one. “Unfortunately when the poor parents of young girls like Kinza come under pressure, they give affidavits like the one given by Kenza’s father stating that she was injured due to falling from the gate of the house,” she lamented.
Unfortunately when the poor parents of young girls like Kenza come under pressure, they give affidavits like the one given by Kenza's father stating that she was injured due to falling from the gate of the house. pic.twitter.com/U3UwWYCQkJ— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 20, 2018
Moreover, a preliminary medical report has confirmed that Kinza Bashir was subjected to torture resulting in her injuries. Police have been given the task to arrest the culprits. This is not the first case where a juvenile has been subject to torture.
Two years ago Additional Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife, Mahin Zafar were accused and later on found guilty of beating their underage maid. The judge and his wife were sentenced to three years prion by the Islamabad High Court. That said case was also highlighted by social media.
In Pakistan, it is noticeable that despite explicitly declared illegal juvenile workers are not only hired at low salaries but also subject to inhumane treatment by the home-owners. Analysts believe that there needs to be comprehensive reform package at social as well as the political level which must address the attitude of people towards their workers. Legal protection and indiscriminate application law may be useful to achieve the intended outcome in this regard.
Moreover, social media users largely demanded that this is the high time when the PTI-led government ensures that nobody can take into his or her own hand, and does not violate the basic constitutional values.