Rape and murder of an innocent girl Zainab in Qasur undoubtedly was the most lamentable incident. It indicated a permeating moral degradation within the Pakistani society as it was not the first incident of its nature. Earlier eleven children had been subjected to similar acts of bestiality in that district. Such incidents are not only confined to Punjab but have also been happening in other provinces as well. But the kind of reaction on this particular incident and deliberate attempts by the political parties to politicize the issue, have never been witnessed before. They threw the entire blame on the Punjab government and Police as if it had authorized that rape and murder. Almost all the mainstream politicians rushed to Qasur and what they said in regards to the incident and holding the Punjab government responsible for it, simply stinks. That actually added fuel to the fire. The line taken by PPP, PTI and PAT on the issue was absolutely condemnable in the view of their hypocritical posturing.

Two days ago a three year old girl met the same fate in Mardan (KPK) but none of the mainstream politicians including those who made a bee-line to Qasur, have shown a similar kind of reaction on that unfortunate happening.

It is pertinent to point that a similar incident took place in Karachi when a dead of body of an eight year old was found near Korangi stream in Karachi on 17 January, 2017 and the medical examination revealed rape and torture leading to her death. Many other similar incidents have been reported in the province during the PPP regime. The question is where was conscience of the PPP stalwarts when those incidents happened? Why did they not hold the PPP government responsible for those incidents? Why there were no violent demonstrations against those happenings?

Similarly in KPK nearly twenty cases of rape and murder of minors have been reported during PTI rule which never stirred the strands of conscience of the PTI chairman who likes to speak from higher moral pedestal without credible credentials in that regard.

In the backdrop of the foregoing facts one can safely conclude that the Qasur incident was deliberately being used to put pressure on the Punjab government as well as the federal government under the prevailing political uncertainty, which was a very shameful ploy. These incidents reveal harsh realities about moral degradation of the society which requires collective efforts of the civil society, intellectuals, religious scholars and the media to promote positive moral values in the society besides a sustained role of the parents and the teachers to guide and sensitize the children about the sinister approaches by the sex maniacs. May be the subject can be included in the curricula of the primary schools that help the children to understand the risks that they are exposed to at the hands of the sex predators.

The violent demonstration in Qasur including attack on the Commissioner office, the house of the MPA and destruction of private and public property were clearly politically motivated, which is a very unfortunate and reveal the sordid aspect of the kind of politics practiced by our self-serving politicians. Instead of showing solidarity with the government in apprehending and punishing the beast who enacted this act of bestiality they though it appropriate to extract political mileage out of the incident that further aggravated the violence.

Unfortunately the media which is also very much polarized failed to play a positive role in creating a better understanding of the situation and discouraging the outbreak of violence. The way the event was covered by the media also reflected a biased approach. The media is supposed to have a pluralist character and avoid insinuations that lead to chaos and anarchy. That was regrettably missing. Along with the politicians the media was highly critical of the response by the law enforcing agencies to control the riots. The loss of human lives in clashes between the rioters and police is very much regrettable. At the spur of the moment some policemen might have reacted impulsively to the danger posed by the rioters but the fact remains that they could not have allowed free hand to the demonstrators to attack the office of the Commissioner and destroy the public and private property.

Law enforcing agencies all over the world react to situations where people take the law in their hands or challenge the write of the government and state and in such encounters casualties do happen. A report in the media reveals that 987 people were shot dead by US Police during 2017 when the people involved adopted threatening postures towards police and tried to violate the law. Such things have been also happening in Pakistan. Who can forget thousands of lives lost during the language riots in Sind in 1972 including the casualties at the hands of law enforcing agencies? But no FIRs were ever registered against them. During the agitation against Ayub Khan several people were killed while violating law and order and resorting to rioting but no FIR was lodged.

The new trend in Pakistan of getting the FIRs registered against the law enforcing agencies and the rulers is really very formidable phenomenon which can have very serious consequences as is evident from the model town tragedy which is now being exploited by the politicians to settle scores with their political rival. A similar FIR has also been registered against the police personnel in Qasur under pressure from politicians and the media. The danger is that this kind of trend would demoralize the law enforcing agencies and they would not feel motivated to enforce the writ of the government and the state in precarious situations which might allow the trouble makers to have a heyday in destroying the public and private properties besides taking lives with impunity. That might lead to anarchy and chaos in the country. Therefore our politicians have to show some sense of responsibility and refrain from promoting tendencies that ultimately destroy the peace of the society and come back to haunt them whenever they happen to win the franchise of the people. The media also needs to act with utmost social responsibility in its capacity as the fourth pillar of the state.

We as a society have a collective responsibility in dealing with issue pertaining to morality and social evils instead of throwing the blame on the sitting government. There are already laws in vogue to deal with crimes like that and the people should allow the government and its concerned agencies to do their job in a peaceful atmosphere.