The rise of barbarism | BY Saleem Bukhari

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The rise of barbarism

RECENTLY, a very painful picture of a child in the forest near I-9 in Islamabad came to light, in which the victim was seen hanging.

The said very poor and innocent child was first sexually assaulted by one or more humanoid beasts and then killed.

The child may have been scavenging in the same area as there were large bags of rubbish near his hanged corpse in the video and photo.

After seeing and hearing such atrocities, surely like me, you people must be filled with this society and think that we should run away from here with our whole family and settle down in the society of humans, but it is also a fact that no matter how far we go, we will not be able to separate the Pakistaniness wrapped in our soul and will continue to burn our hearts on such incidents.

Such incidents may have been happening in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for a long time, but in January 2018, when the case of innocent Zainab of Kasur district came to light in the media, all Pakistanis were shocked.

There was a big uproar over this, almost every TV channel recorded crying programs, Social media was flooded with trends and slogans of Justice for Zainab, processions were taken out and long debates were held in the National Assembly on public hanging or gallows for child abusers, but, all this turned out to be just a temporary ferment and in a very short time Pakistanis forgot all about it.

After that, the series of sexual abuse and killing of children started which has reached its peak today.

Official and unofficial reports are showing that 11 women and 8 innocent children are sexually assaulted every day in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, while these figures do not include women and children whose FIRs are not registered.

We are a nation in which there is not even a doubt of the element called fear of Allah Ta’ala.

A great example of this can be given that in the year 2020, Corona caused havoc all over the world, including Pakistan, and the Hindus of India also started going to mosques and worshiping.

In the same year, Pakistan recorded the highest number of cases of sexual abuse, harassment and blackmailing of women and children on mobile phones.

In the lockdown due to Covid-19, people spent most of their time online and the trend of mobile phone harassment has increased exponentially across the country.

A total of 3246 complaints were received on the Digital Rights Foundation’s Harassment Helpline during the Corona lockdown, which included incidents of harassment of female maids inside homes as well as online.

According to the foundation, the lockdown saw a 189 percent increase in complaints and it felt like sexual harassment was rampant across the country.

Due to the increase in the rate of these incidents, the government of Pakistan introduced several laws to give harsh punishment to sex offenders, which includes the Presidential Ordinance to make rape accused impotent, but the question is who will enforce these laws??

According to the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, since 2015, more than 24,000 cases of sexual assault have been registered in the country, of which 4,060 cases are under trial in the courts and so far only 77 criminals have been punished.

Only 18 percent of cases have reached the level of prosecution. The data of these incidents is also not complete because many cases are not reported, so neither the data of NGOs is 100% correct nor the official data accurately indicate the facts.

Last year, the Federal Ministry of Human Rights also released a report regarding sexual violence against women and children, according to which cases of attacks on women have increased significantly in Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan.

The report said that 948 complaints were received on the Karachi helpline, 399 cases were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in just one month, while 144 complaints were registered in Punjab.

The report states that fifty percent of women in Pakistan do not file complaints and remain silent, despite knowing the procedure.

According to Sahil, an organization working for the protection of children’s rights, in the first six months of last year, eight children were subjected to sexual violence every day, while the subsequent figures could not be compiled yet.

According to the report, 785 minor girls and 704 boys were sexually abused in just six months of last year.

According to the overall data, 53% of girls and 47% of boys were sexually assaulted in these cases.

According to the data of the female ombudsman for sexual harassment at the federal level, last year there were 445 complaints of harassment of women in workplaces and offices, of which 15 were from Peshawar and 27 from Karachi.

The federal ombudsman court is bound to take a decision within 60 days, so only 62 cases are pending there, while the remaining cases have been disposed of.

In Pakistan, several laws were made to protect women and children and suppress crimes against them.

One of them includes the ‘Legal Aid and Justice Authority Act 2020’ which is about providing financial and legal assistance to women and children in criminal cases.

The Anti-Rape Investigation and Trial Ordinance 2020 was also enacted to ensure stricter punishments and speedy disposal of cases for those accused of sexual assault, through which it was supposed to make it possible to provide quick justice to women against crimes like rape and sexual assault.

For this purpose, special courts and special investigation teams were also established which were related to legal aid for prompt hearing of victims’ cases and provision of speedy justice to them.

Under this ordinance, the definition of rape has also been expanded and ambiguity has been removed in the light of previous cases so that the accused of sexual assault can be rendered impotent, but the question still comes up that what is the benefit of these laws, investigation teams and special courts??

Since these laws were made, sexual atrocities have not decreased but increased, so it means that either these laws are not effective or the law enforcement agencies are not effective.

I can also claim here that 95% of the population of Pakistan will not know these laws and those who know will not understand it.

I don’t mean here any propaganda against the government or unnecessary criticism of the rulers, but I am stating the facts which cannot be hidden.

Society’s sexual beasts can be chained only when institutions strictly enforce laws. Until and unless the bodies of sexual beasts are dropped, this society cannot recover under any circumstances.

For the Allah Almighty sake, the government should be aware and the institutions should save more innocent children and women from the brutality of these beasts.

We have seen so many dead bodies of children and no more can be seen after that. Pakistan Zindabad.

—The writer is associated with the news reporting department in Islamabad for a long time and working for an international news agency.