Omer Aftab |
Zainab’s murderer is caught and will be dealt with the course of law. So should all the parents be comfortable and fearless while sending their kids to school or for playing outside their home? To get an answer let’s have a look at this exemplary case. If we recall the happenings of events in the Zainab case there are lots of unusual factors that do not occur in every case.
First of all, Chief Justice (CJ) of Pakistan took sou-moto notice of this case, which is not usual. Secondly; Chief of Army Staff showed his concern and offered the services of special teams and thirdly a JIT was formed for speedy enquiry and then there was the whole nation following it up and demanding justice for the innocent angel.
Like past, just don’t forget this issue and start taking action right now. Remember; if we will not take adequate steps right away then we all will be culprits of any next Zainab!
11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported every day in Pakistan according to a survey report of Sahil and 100s of cases go unreported. Will CJ take sou-moto for every case? Or would it be possible for the government to form a JIT on daily basis, and if I am not wrong, it’s not the duty of the army to investigate rape or murder cases. And so the answer is no for all parents as well.
In district Kasur only, 8 girls were kidnapped, raped and mercilessly killed over the period of 2.5 years right after the largest ring of child sexual abuse was busted. Those involved were caught but nothing happened to them and the case eventually faded away in the public imagination and the news.
I would say, in Zainab’s case it was the social pressure, created through social and traditional media that forced the entire machinery to probe into this matter. If there would have been any system established after the first case – perhaps Zainab would have been alive today.
A uniform “National Child Protection Policy” should be made and enforced across the country; And last but not the least let’s also take the mental health of our society bit more seriously especially grave issue of pedophilias.
As per the census 2017, we have a population of almost 600 million below the age of 14, so what immediate steps shall be taken to make our society safe for these children? Firstly let’s not do any political point scoring in this matter and let’s accept that this is a national issue and give exemplary punishment to the culprit. And then take the following steps:
An awareness program at a national level for parents on imparting their children with confidence and problem-solving skills is needed. Besides this efficient system, it is also important to train a child sufficient knowledge and critical thinking.
Involvement of religious scholars can give extra mileage to this awareness campaign. Government should engage them to give Jumma Sermons on better child-rearing.
Chief of Army Staff showed his concern and offered the services of special teams; thirdly JIT was formed for speedy enquiry and then there was whole nation following it up and demanding the justice for the innocent angel.
Integration of Child Development Education in the school curriculum; and again it should not be a matter of political point scoring. For the sake of our children we need to review the curriculum and integrate some necessary topics in it;
Every child either from Punjab, Sindh, KPK, Baluchistan or GB, has an equal right to living a healthy and safe life. A uniform “National Child Protection Policy” should be made and enforced across the country, and last but not the least let’s also take the mental health of our society a bit more seriously, especially with the grave issue of paedophilia.
Like the past, just don’t forget this issue and start taking action right now. Remember, if we will not take adequate steps right away then we all will be culprits of any next Zainab!
The writer is CEO White Ribbon Pakistan and is a development and communications professional with extensive experience in Health Awareness, Behaviour Transformation Communications and Strategic Public Relations.