By Farah Jamil
Zainab, we are so sorry. We are ashamed of what has happened to you. How could someone even think of doing something this cruel to you? This is just too painful!
We are going to be very, very angry today. We are going to say a lot of things that have been said a thousand times before, but we will repeat them regardless.
The 7 year old little Zainab from Kasur went missing on Jan 4th. She was allegedly raped, strangled to death and the body was thrown in garbage bin after 5 days of her kidnapping. The incidents of rape, kidnapping and child abuse have made us question the authorities of their responsibility for the people.
From journalists to university students and Human Rights activists, everyone seemed to be on the same page regarding education and awareness on sexual abuse. They all were concerned about #JusticeForZainab.
While talking about little Zainab, Journalist Munazza Anwar said, “Seven year old Zainab who was kidnapped, raped multiple times, barbarically murdered and left dead in a dumpster in Kasur, Pakistan. Yes, the very same Kasur where a major pedophile ring was busted in 2015. Had those rapists not been protected & patronized by Government? So ashamed and disgusted to be part of this society where rapists are saved and covered by our political system and police then shoots protestors who are seeking justice for a seven year old raped and murdered. It is important to address these issues. We must stand united as society against such barbaric crimes #JusticeForZainab”.
Saad Khan – a Mass Communication student heaps anger on society, “Nothing about abducting a child, raping her, murdering her, and then leaving her in a garbage dump is okay.
When the Kasur story first surfaced three years ago, we were outraged. We were angry. It was that anger that led to authorities taking note of what had happened. But then our anger died down, and we know where that investigation went then. The scandal was labeled ‘not as big as feared’. It was belittled to a ‘land dispute issue’.
But we are not going to let this go again. So be angry today and tomorrow and all the days that follow. Repeat everything that you’ve said before. Because it needs to be repeated every single time this happens.”
Right now, you cannot afford to think ‘Lekin bolne se ho ga kya?’ Aur kuch nahi, lekin kam se kam sahi aur ghalat ki pehchaan baqi rahe gi.
Today, call out the bigots, the hypocrites, the silent ones, the onlookers. Call out the ones who put the blame on everyone and everything except the people responsible for assaults.
Wirsha Shahid – a journalist , shared her views, “By giving the worst punishment to culprits as soon as possible but according to laws definitely.”Justice delayed is justice denied” – so it should not be delayed at all, so that people may take lessons. Moreover, standard of justice should be the same for every single person of the society. We can meet justice by immediate actions by our institutions against any crime.”
Umaima Tahir – working as a senior journalist in print media aggressively demands justice for Zainab, “Even though the incident has shaken everyone its very disturbing how 11 previous cases did not affect anyone. In the past 3 days about 6 more cases have come up but no one has pointed them out.
She went on to say that this issue needs to be tackled on emergency basis. No Panama, no Aqama, no marriage, no Orange Train is more important than the life of our children. The government and courts must take action immediately.
She also suggested that the education curriculum needs to include a subject on this issue and educate the children. Along with children parents too need to be sensitized.
Umaima also highlighted the worst reality of our society where we consider boys superior then girls. “Then there is a mindset that is keeps blaming the victim and not considering them as humans. Till you keep considering girls should be wrapped like a lollipop and boys are superior to females things like this would keep happening. We have to understand this issue is not related to girls only, boys too are suffering and they need equal help”, she added.
According to Najia Mir – Goodwill ambassador at International Human Rights Commission- IHRC and an anchor at local TV channel – Child abuse is a big challenge, we all must spread word on practices for good parenting, it is very important to train kids in this wild n vulnerable situation, our voices our write up can make a huge difference. Silence is deadly; we should raise our voice against such barbaric acts. The perpetrators of such heinous acts need to be publicly humiliated.”
The brutal rape and murder of little Zainab in Kasur is not a one-off incident. As many as 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported from across Pakistan every day. Even in Kasur, the rape and murders of 12 minor girls, all aged between five to eight years, have been reported in the past twelve months. But the question remains same, who will address these issues? Who will protect our children? Who will serve justice to the bereaved families?
Wake up government – Many Zainab’s are awaiting justice!