Zainab Amin’s grisly murder in Kasur this week comes as a stark reminder of where we’re headed as a nation. In fact, cross that; we’re already there.
After the hue and cry following the 2015 Kasur child porn ring bust where over 300 children were raped and filmed — touted as the largest child abuse scandal in the history of the country — what happened to the investigation, if there ever was one? Why was it hushed up, why were the families of the victims silenced, and why didn’t the local media follow through with any investigative pieces to unearth the debauched criminals behind it?
As per Sahil, the well-known child protection not-for-profit organisation, over a 100 cases of child abuse (rape, sodomy, abduction, and gang-rape) were reported from Kasur last year. And in 2015 alone, more than 400 such cases were registered in Kasur. One shudders to think how many more such incidents have taken place that are yet to be reported. It truly makes one’s blood run cold.
But we’re all to blame. We are all party to the filth and depravity. For one, local media gives airtime to unhinged individuals such as Orya Maqbool Jan who has the audacity to state (on national television, no less) that women provoke men to rape them by the kind of clothes they wear and that this in turn leads to children being picked up and sodomised.
Secondly, why are we not scrutinising our so-called leaders and demanding answers? Why haven’t we pressured the current PML-N MPA, Malik Ahmed Saeed, and insisted on thorough investigations in Kasur? What is causing these incidents to continue happening? Who is protecting the perpetrators of these gruesome crimes? What is the solution? How can the state ensure that our children will be protected from hereon?
Thirdly, as a society, we turn a blind eye to child abuse because we consider it dangerously taboo to speak about… So what do we do? We stay silent and turn on the victim in a twisted version of blame-the-victim, when the abuse plays out right under our noses, within our four walls, and at the hands of a trusted family member or hired help.
As long as we as a nation continue to doggedly refuse to accept the cancer that is child abuse, concealed within the very fabric of our society, we will continue to gently wrap up innocence in a coffin, while shedding crocodile tears, marinating in our deadened complacency, insincerity, and numbness.
And on the opposite side of the spectrum, what do we have? Men building shrines for revered murderers, who sob at the graves of criminals, who continue to galvanise the misled for their fanatical dharnas, while they froth at the mouth over asinine subjects like Valentine’s Day, bludgeon young men of hope and promise, like Mashal Khan, misinterpret and misuse the word of God for their dirty agendas, yet none come forward to wage a war against the utter need of the hour; the battle against child abuse.
We’re all in it together, rotting away in our little cesspool of sin and deceit.