The death of little Zainab in Kasur has opened up a Pandora’s Box in the country. Ever since her death was reported, many similar incidents are being reported daily from all parts of the country. The shame and the stigma attached to such discussions seems to have disappeared as the angst of the people this time around is so much that they want nothing but justice in these cases. This outrage is not just directed towards the abuser in these cases, but people are also able to point out the lack of implementation of the laws of the country, the nonchalance of the authorities to cases such as these, the point scoring of the political parties, and the absence of debate around solving the problem.

While it is deeply heartening to see people of the country outraged enough at the occurrence of such an incident to take to the streets that outrage must also translated into demanding action from the authorities. It takes just another breaking story for people to forget and forgive and move on, but it is due to this behaviour that the streets of the country are not safe and resulting in the loss of lives of innocent children. We have lessons to learn from the Kasur incident, not just the government but us as the citizens of Pakistan as well. We have seen that after the Kasur sexual abuse scandal came to the forefront, there was similar outrage but soon not only the public but also the governing bodies forgot to follow up. This not only resulted in the abusers gaining advantage due to the support from many influential people but also lack of justice for the families of the victims.

It is easy to decipher that the way forward in this case is not to let the incident go by very easily. Continuous efforts will result in action. Many times, in the history of Pakistan, we have witnessed the result of consistent efforts in the form of legislations. The Women Protection Bill is a case in point; passed after a string of high profile honour killing cases. If the outrage can be converted into dedicated effort then slowly and surely we can move towards stronger legislation on the matter.

At the same time, this added scrutiny should allow people to monitor the role of the police officials in the matter and the pace at which the prosecution is taking place. This will not only result in stronger laws but also empower the public to demand justice in their matters.