Home Global Village Zainab atrocity brings to light other rape cases in the country

Zainab atrocity brings to light other rape cases in the country

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News Analysis |

After the Zainab murder and rape case was brought to the limelight by Pakistani media, there has been an upsurge of rape cases of minors reported in Pakistan. It shows that the entire country is suffering from this epidemic. The Zainab murder and rape case has given voice to all the victims that were previously unheard and unreported in the Pakistani media.

The dead body of a 15-year-old girl was recovered from the field in Tasawarabad near Sargodha on 11th January. She was allegedly raped before she was murdered. The suspect of the rape has been arrested.

In another incident, the molested body of an 11-year-old was found from a field in the Kasur district on 5th January. Farmers reaping sugarcane had found the body of the boy. Initial reports suggested that the boy was sexually assaulted before being strangled to death. The suspect has not been caught.

It is impossible to find and catch every culprit in rape cases but prevention of such tragic incidents is much easier. Our children are the custodians of our future and if we can’t protect our children, we can’t guarantee a promising future for the country.

The body of an 8-year-old girl, Maliha, was found on a pile of trash on 4th January in Sheikhupura. The culprit, Shiraz Arif Raja, had abducted, raped and murdered Maliha before throwing her body in the trash. The culprit was later shot in a police encounter.

A cleric was arrested in Karachi on 15th January for allegedly raping a 14-year-old student. The FIR was registered under Section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Section 377 relates to “unnatural offences” defining them as “voluntarily [having] carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.” It shows the inadequacy of the law to properly punish a culprit for raping a child.

Read more: Zainab culprit to be produced before Anti-Terrorism Court today

A 4-year-old girl, Asma, was raped and murdered on 14th January. Her body was found in a sugarcane field in Mardan city. She was kidnapped from outside her house and subjected to violence before she was eventually killed. The culprits are still unknown and at large. The Pakistani public is complaining about the fact that there has been no justice for Asma, debating why the government has only focused all their attention on one victim in Zainab.

Introducing stringent punishments for pedophiles and rapists might have some effects in curbing the menace of child abuse but the long-term solution only lies in reform of the whole society.

A 14-year-old boy was molested near the Bank Colony area at Dhamyal Road in Rawalpindi. He was held at gunpoint and raped by two men. They later blackmailed his family that if they reported the incident to the police, they would release a video of the incident on the Internet. The police has arrested one of the culprits but the other is still missing.

These are just some of the few examples of the dire situation of child abuse in Pakistan. The murder and rape of Zainab caused a huge outcry in the whole country but most of these other cases were not even reported by the mainstream media. It is encouraging that more of these cases are coming to the limelight but it exposes us to the alarming rate of occurrence of these incidents throughout the country.

Read more: Zainab case: Police finally arrest culprit!

The culprit in Zainab’s murder and rape case has been arrested and people are demanding his public hanging. The law enforcement agencies in Punjab exhausted all their capacities to find the culprit in Zainab’s case but what about all these other incidents in which children were brutally murdered and killed in the same way, where the police failed to taken any action against them.

The culprits are still unknown and at large. The Pakistani public is complaining about the fact that there has been no justice for Asma, debating why the government has only focused all their attention on one victim in Zainab.

Even the media resorts to selective empathy and coverage. Publicly hanging the culprit in one case won’t kill the spectre of child abuse that haunts the society at large. Solid steps need to be taken to provide justice to all the victims of child abuse and also to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Read more: Zainab’s father not allowed to react after daughter’s killer was caught

Introducing stringent punishments for pedophiles and rapists might have some effects in curbing the menace of child abuse but the long-term solution only lies in reform of the whole society. It is impossible to find and catch every culprit in rape cases but prevention of such tragic incidents is much easier. Our children are the custodians of our future and if we can’t protect our children, we can’t guarantee a promising future for the country.


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