We are living in dark times and these are turning darker with each passing day. Killing of children in conflict zones like Kashmir, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan is continuing with no stop. From 2008 onwards in Kashmir we have seen in popular uprisings, how children have been killed and blinded by state backed forces. Year after year, we are losing innocent children for no fault of their own. Thousands of children have become victims of these brutal conflicts. Children have also been subjected to sexual exploitation and sexual harassment around the world. These heinous crimes show how much our society has degraded. With so much progress on materialistic level, morally, the society is going bankrupt.

The year 2018 started with the brutal rape and murder of a 7-year girl child named Zainab, in Kasur, Pakistan. According to reports, Zainab was on her way to Quran recital, when she was abducted and raped and then murdered. The perpetrator of this heinous crime has been arrested with the help of DNA test. According to a USA Today report, child sexual abuse is rampant in Pakistan and is rarely being addressed. The report can be said true of whole South Asia, where child sexual abuse is rarely addressed.

When we were still gripping with this heinous incident, a news about another child sexual abuse and murder came to fore. This time it was from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, where a child named Asifa was raped and then murdered. But in Asia’s case, not much outrage could be seen on social media and according to one relative, media published the news too late.

According to Zaffar Iqbal, a leader of Gujjar and Bakarwal Students Conference, this community of Gujjar and Bakarwals has always been ignored and only used for vote bank politics.

Looking at this matter from the caste and class angle, it clearly shows how caste-ism and class consciousness is deeply ingrained in our minds. How we, while calling ourselves the followers of Islam, the religion of peace and equality, ignore a heinous crime perpetrated on “low caste” Bakarwal community. This has exposed our sick mentality and also exposed how classist we are. We go aghast on a minor incident with the “celebrity” and celebrate every move of a celebrity kid, but keep criminal silence when it comes to the “lower class” or common persons’ serious issue. A person who has no political or celebrity links has to toil before the state in South Asia to get justice and still there is least possibility that he/she would get justice.

The silence of the brigade of elite feminists and so-called intellectuals on this heinous crime has exposed their hypocrisy and classist nature. The Asifa incident has also exposed us a whole, how we treat incidents or crimes on “lower class” or common people with different perspective and interest. The lesser mortals had always suffered at the hands of the so-called “upper castes “and classes. The difference in treatment vis-à-vis “lower castes or classes” has always been there.

The culprit in both zainab & asifa’s case has been arrested.

Both of them confessed to their crimes

With child pornography rampant and easy availability and access of internet, it has become easier. The government and law enforcing agencies should ensure that all culprits are brought to justice and justice be served at the earliest to set a good precedent for the future. Only a timely, fair and speedy probe and judgment can ensure to put stop to these kind of heinous crimes in future to some extent

Zainab and Asifa would be looking towards us from the heavens.They will demand answers from us in our conscience about how we dealt with their abusers and murderers we must ensure that we have good answers for these little angles

May these little angles Rest in Peace

NEHA ATIQ,

Karachi, April 20.