Child, 8, kidnapped, raped and murdered in Hangu, KPK

One more child has been raped and murdered in KPK. Will publicly hanging the rapists help us as a society to counter such inhumane actions? Is death penalty the only solution to our problems?

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Madiha, 8, was kidnapped, raped and brutally murdered on Sunday. The body of the child was found by Hangu police who said that she was subjected to an extremely brutal rape and torture before being murdered.

According to the details, the child had gone to a shop on Saturday afternoon to buy snacks but did not return. Her family and area residents initiated a search operation on their own but after failing to find her, they informed police on Sunday morning.

District Police Officer (DPO) Shahid Ahmed told the press that the child’s body was recovered from some bushes in Hangu district’s Saro Khel village whereas it had been shifted to the district headquarter hospital for medical examination.

Read more: Good Touch & Bad Touch: Rampant Child Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

DPO Shahid said that the bruises on the girl’s body pointed towards rape whereas the rapist had also shot the child before strangling her to death, all of which would be clear once the medical reports come in.

He said that the police were monitoring two people as persons of interest in the case but further investigations would be carried out in light of the medical report which is expected in 24 hours.

Recently, PM’s Special Adviser on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Prime Minister Imran Khan proposed the death penalty be fixed for all those involved in child abuse. He had expressed this resolve during a meeting of the federal cabinet, showing concern over the rise in misuse of the internet for child pornography and a subsequent increase in incidents of child abuse.

The extreme punishment will deter potential predators and rapists from sexually abusing minors. Ali Mohammad Khan asserted that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted the public execution of child rapists

According to Awan, the prime minister addressed in detail the ministries of human rights, law, and especially the interior ministry, and gave them the responsibility of examining, assessing and analyzing the existing juvenile laws regarding sexual violence, sexual exploitation, rape of children, and other violent behaviors.

“All three ministries have been instructed to get together on this, prepare an implementation plan and bring it before the cabinet so that this growing menace can be curbed with an effective law and a mechanism of deterrence, as well as awareness, can be created,” she said.

National Assembly passed a resolution to publicly hang the child rapists with an overwhelming majority. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Mohammad Khan, presented the resolution. The resolution called for the death sentence and public execution of the child rapists in the public.

Read more: Another ‘Zainab’ raped and killed in Jaranwala: An epidemic of child sexual abuse in Pakistan

The extreme punishment will deter potential predators and rapists from sexually abusing minors. Ali Mohammad Khan asserted that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted the public execution of child rapists. However, the ruling party did not agree with the lawmakers. Therefore, there was no substantial follow-up.

In a historic move, the National Assembly unanimously passed the Zainab Alert, Recovery and Response Bill on Friday, 9th January. The bill introduced a multitude of measures to speed up the recovery of missing children and the conviction of child abusers in sexual assault cases.

According to a report issued by child rights organization Sahil in September, at least seven children are abused in Pakistan daily. The report revealed that from January to June in the current year, 1,304 cases of sexual abuse of children have been reported by the media in the country.

The report said that the data from January to June in 2019 reveals that 729 girls and 575 boys became victims of sexual exploitation. The cases under major categories included 378 of abduction, 139 of rape, 153 of sodomy, 46 of gang rape, 88 of gang sodomy whereas 12 boys and four girls have been murdered after sexual abuse.

In Lahore only, there were 50 incidents reported last year while nine children had been abducted and 12 reported missing from January to June 2019. January to June data gave grim numbers as it included five incidents of rape, seven of sodomy, three of gang rape and five of gang sodomy.

Read More: Publicise videos of child abusers being hung, KP govt

The most common perpetrator of the child sex abuse was an acquaintance with the victim and the victim’s family. Out of a total of 1,304 cases, 614 cases were such where the abusers had acquaintance with victims or victim’s families. In all, 142 cases were reported in which strangers were involved in abusing children.

Experts believe that effective legislation is key to protect children across the country. The current government is particularly focusing on finding out ways that may help to ensure the security of every child in rural as well as urban areas of Pakistan.

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