Imran Ali Phull
Frequent news about illegal pregnancies, abortions, dumping babies in gutters, dumpsters and killing of hundreds of illegitimate newborn babies is always intensely painful and tormenting for very sensible and sensitive ones in our Islamic republic. In Pakistan, abortion, infanticide is illegal and so is adultery, even then we hear about cases of children born out of wedlock and then are killed clandestinely due to the stigma of illegitimacy.
Premarital relations are strictly prohibited in country and are frowned upon by society and that is the reason there is probably no bigger taboo than having a child out of wedlock. According to Islamic point of view infanticide is a punishable crime and Islamic laws award very severe punishment. However, despite such punishments and social taboos people are still involved in extramarital relationship and ultimately they commit a hideous crime of infanticide.
In different societies, different factors contribute to this evil, however, this hideous crime can not be justified or accepted at all even whatever the reasons are there. According to media reports the ratio of female infanticide is greater than male infanticide. Female infanticide is a practice of killing baby girls either by abortion or after her birth. This is really a shameful act being done by people across the region. There are several causes of the tendency of female infanticide like people give more value to baby boy than baby girl. It is very common, illogical and inexplicable notion that son is being considered as real asset as he may earn money and may become supporter of the family in future while girl is considered a liability because one day she will have to marry someone and ultimately she will leave the home.
This horrid scenario is unfolding our worst apathy and declined state of our morality and humanity. It is a high time that we need to address this issue at different forums to aware people from different backgrounds especially our youth. The very first change that we all have to bring in our society is to literate our society and change the mindset and perception of people. We should not consider girls as burden, in reality in these days girls can support whole family financially by their determination and selfless efforts and sacrifices and they can do every job like boys. Moreover, a most important step is to eradicate dowry system from our society, which is the biggest reason for female infanticide. When parents are not worried about dowry, they will not consider daughters as liability.
Government should also declare infanticide as national shame and must initiate a crusade to save these innocent infants. The commendable initiative “Edhi Cradles or Edhi Jhoola” by Edhi Foundation is really a kind of blessing to lessen such practices but Government must yield more accessible places or institutes like “Edhi Cradles” , where babies could be left without any inquiry, to avoid killing of innocent babies. Individually and collectively we should launch awareness campaign and social mobilization on this issue for the eradication of this menace. Finally, Government must take immediate actions and explore all possible avenues to stop such practices.