ISLAMABAD: The National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR) has cited the incident of Zainab’s abuse and killing in Kasur as an example of the authorities’ ineptitude and failure to take timely action despite the NCHR’s recommendations made in the wake of earlier such incidents in the district.
“The present incident is an example of the ineptitude of the authorities which have failed to address the issue in an appropriate manner to curb its future recurrence,” said NCHR’s second report on Kasur child abuses unveiled on Wednesday.
“Efforts to tackle child abuse are still short, and setting up of preventive mechanism for child protection on district level is still inept and unclear,” it added.
The NCHR chief Justice (retd) Ali Nawaz Chowhan and his team visited Kasur in October 2017 to find out facts surrounding the various similar incidents of child abduction, rape and killing that took place in the district in a couple of years.
According to the NCHR, the team also wanted to know whether the administration had taken any steps on its recommendations made in the wake of a child pornography scandal that emerged in the same district in 2015.
Later, the commission had presented very solid and sound recommendations which had been forwarded in a report but it is highly painful to acknowledge that no concrete steps were taken by the district administration of Kasur to curb the recurrence of such grave incidents, the report said.
“Government needs to take revolutionary steps to keep the situation under control by not allowing abusers to act wildly,” Chowhan said.
The NHRC report includes observations and facts in relation to heinous crimes committed against another lot of children in Kasur. These crimes include brutal and inhuman killings of twelve minor girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 11.
In all twelve registered cases, children were raped and sodomised before being killed. All the killings took place in a very close radius, and in the same manner in under-construction houses between the years 2015-2017. All incidents occurred between 1600 hrs till 2100 hrs.
Striking similarity has been seen in the way this unspeakable crime has been committed. It is most likely that the committer might be same individual in all cases.
The NCHR fact finding committee after thorough research concluded that both the crime prevention mechanism and social protection mechanism have failed in protecting a large number of children from sexual abuse in village Hussain Khan Wala, District Kasur.
“The inappropriate use of anti-terrorism act against complainants and inhabitants of village Hussain Khan Wala of District Kasur is causing fear of police-persecution and mistrust, leading towards social boycott to participate in investigation,” the report said.
Mumtaz Gohar of Sahil NGO revealed that in 2017, a total of 129 cases of child assault were reported from Kasur alone. Of them, 34 were cases of abduction, 23 of rape, 19 sodomy, 17 rape attempts, six abduction and rape, and four of abduction and gang rape.
He said in 2015, 451 incidents of child abuse occurred in Kasur out of which 285 were reported. In 2016, a total of 141 cases of child abuse were reported from Kasur.
“If the victim gets justice and the accused gets punished, no such cases will be reported from Pakistan,” said Gohar while talking to The Express Tribune. He said several such cases were pending in courts and victims are awaiting justice.
He said there are a number of cases which are reported but there are also several which remain unreported. “Many families are reluctant to report sexual assault cases because of social taboo attached to them. They believe that such cases will bring only shame on them,” he said.