The maxim that ‘child is father of man’ may be only half true in providing spiritual guidance to their elders by way of its innocence, truthfulness and genuineness. However, in certain glaring cases of our society like that of innocent child Zainab have shaken the very moral foundations of our society as well as scores of our state laws, rules and institutions at the altar of her life and came up spiritually and administratively not only to point out but also guide our state and society to take stringent measures to curb the hidden ails of the society and to impede any such brutal incidents in future.
A heart rendering incident has occurred at Kasur in the land of sufis like Baba Bhullay Shah where an innocent has been subjected to rape and brutally murdered by some unknown inhuman and barbarous criminals which has not only shaken but also exposed very foundations and pyramid of our departments and the society as well.
The occurrence is not the first of its kind but a corollary to other occurrences such as immoral, indecent, illegal and criminal acts of mass sodomy that too in the territorial jurisdiction of the same District and the province. The society has never heard of any information about exemplary punishment meted out to the criminals involved therein. Consequently, such incidents are being perpetrated by the criminals without any fear and deterrence.
The shameful crime committed by the criminals has exposed the sky rising claims of the state institutions who have failed to provide protection and pre-empt such incidents at one hand and arrest the criminals even after the commission of instant crime on the other. The governance has utterly failed in fulfilling its mandatory duties and functions to provide developmental, educational and peaceful environment at the gross root level as enjoined by the provisions of the Punjab Local Government Act, 2015. It, otherwise, reflects the hollowness of the local bodies system and lays a blot on the acclaimed and sham democracy at the gross root level, nay, it is an insult to the very right and quality of vote conferred upon the people of Pakistan. The unfortunate occurrence also exposes the unending claims of the organizations working for protection of children and the other members of the Civil Society mandated to protect and ensure the welfare of the innocent progeny of our society. The regulators have also desperately failed in performing their duties in regulating the working and funding of the Civil Society in accordance with the mandate accorded to them by law.
The unfortunate incident has raised certain bitten questions.
Whether our governance is an utter failure and requires immediate structural changes as envisaged by the Constitution of Pakistan?
Whether our police are functioning in accordance with the mandate conferred upon it and has failed to provide security, respect and dignity to the people of Pakistan as enshrined in the human rights Chapter of the Constitution of Pakistan?
Whether the working and functioning of police and other law enforcement agencies has become faulty and its individuals are not negligent of their duties in general and invoke punitive proceedings against the delinquents?
Whether the work of police is only the enforcement of law and not to question it for the development of society by involving community policing?
Whether all other departments of the state can shrug off their responsibilities regarding development of human society and shift them to the shoulders of judiciary and police solely, which are already burdened with other important tasks?
Whether state of Pakistan has failed to sensitize and create an environment for the people of Pakistan in general and police personnel and other departments in particular to act in accordance with their conscience so as to promote social justice, eradication of social evils and socio-economic well being of the people of Pakistan as provided under Article 37 and 38 of the Constitution?
Whether the institutions like Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, District Councils, Regulatory Authorities of the non-Governmental organizations, media regulatory authorities like PEMRA and Religious Ministries and seminaries there-under are working to establish an Islamic way of life as enjoined by Article 31 of Constitution?
Whether the state is not an utter failure in protecting the social and moral values in order to groom the basic unit of our society called ‘family’ as envisaged under Quran and Sunnah and Article 2A of the Constitution?
Whether our state organs are so negligent of their obligations and calling for intervention of Nature’s rescue to the humans by use of callousless force as is warned by Allah Almighty Himself in the Holy Quran in the following words:-
“And how many townships that acted wrongfully have We utterly destroyed and raised up after it another people”.
Sura Al-Anbiya; verse,11.
Whether judiciary is not mandated to monitor and supervise the scope and effect of the policies and working of the legislature and executive continuously?
The vulnerable members of the society like Zainab shall only be protected and groomed if special legislation is made to create awareness amongst all members of the society and the culprits are awarded exemplary punishments to create real deterrence in the society as is reported to have been executed publically in other neighboring countries like Iran and Argentina. Despite extreme pressure by the society through media, the society and its organs have failed to perform their obligatory duties that the people are under great shock, fear and pity that God forbids that such incident should occur with any other pour soul of the society.
Lest that the civil society conducts immaterial and meaningless seminars, workshops and conferences, in the five star hotels spending huge donated money where the real beneficiaries are hardly seen present or invited to avail the benefits of measures adopted by the Civil Society and other departments.
A strong shriek is felt in the atmosphere calling the entire society and state to take immediate legal action against the culprits and arrest them without fail. It calls for immediate goading to wake up the individual and collective conscience from slumber and criminal negligence. Why not legislate special laws to curb crime against the vulnerable innocent children with exemplary capital punishments under summary trial as are enjoined by Shariah. Why should the ministry of religious affairs not gird up its loin to monitor and eliminate the alleged incidents of sexual abuse in the seminaries, if any. Let the local governments take concrete measures to uproot and pre-empt any such future incidents under its jurisdiction and submit their performance to the executive, legislature and the superior judiciary. Only the meaningful measures would be accepted by the society from all the huge fleet departments working under Punjab Children Ordinance 1983 adopted by the respondent No.7 in this regard. It should not only seen but seen to have been done in the society.
Let us black list those NGOs working in the child protection domain but actually lacking the real and meaningful work. Let their funds be spent on the real and genuine beneficiaries and to be invested not on the seminars in the five stars hotels but on the spot, affected areas and at the gross root level instead. Let the slaughter of innocent soul wake up our individual as well as collective conscience to rise up for reformation of the evils and vices in our society for good and not to forget it in the times to come once the instant dilemma is over.
The writer is a socio-political analyst.