Dave Pelzer — well-known American author and survivor of the third worst case of child-abuse in California’s history, a case he vividly recalls in his A Child Called “It” — has said, “Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” Recently there has been a rampage of child molestation cases, which clearly shows the dark side of our frustrated and illiterate society.

A child is all about innocence, purity and rightfully, the very face of God. Ironically, the predator, walking unabatedly in the streets of this sorry land, has hunted the innocence. What to say about the writ of the government as several died recently of famine and living lot is at the mercy of paedophiles, while the authority is busy having a siesta over such issues.

The list of child abuse cases goes on; a five-year-old girl was raped at a high school in Lahore and this wasn’t the first case reported over the past few years. Early in November, a six-year-old girl was strangled and dumped near a garbage heap in Quetta after being subjected to rape attempts.  In February 2014, a seven-year-old girl was raped and murdered by unknown men in Lahore’s Ferozewala area. Last year, a five-year-old girl in Lahore was repeatedly raped for more than an hour and thrown outside Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Such events have immediate effect of shocking the nation but with the passage of some quick months these issues are swept under the carpet at authoritative level.

These monstrous incidents leave a black spot on the face of our so-called political and theological implementations regarding the social affairs. According to a report by Sahil, an anti-child abuse NGO, 2,303 cases of child abuse including 56 cases of incest were reported in the year 2011. The surging child abuses cases clearly reveal the non-seriousness of the government to curb such incidents. It’s not only a curse in every society but also leaves a horrific psychological effect in the minds of the victims and their families.

As Laura Davis, an English professional golfer, said, “Abuse manipulates and twists a child’s natural sense of trust and love. Her innocent feelings are belittled or mocked and she learns to ignore her feelings. She can’t afford to feel the full range of feelings in her body while she’s being abused—pain, outrage, hate, vengeance, confusion, arousal. So she short-circuits them and goes numb. For many children, any expression of feelings, even a single tear, is cause for more severe abuse. Again, the only recourse is to shut down. Feelings go underground.”

Pakistan has become a fiefdom of almost all sorts of paedophiles, who range from a relative to a religious teacher, from a police officer to a school guard. Monsters walk the streets unimpeded and if caught, the judicial system is fragile enough to put them again on the track. The horrors of such incidents can’t be ignored so simply as we the people in Pakistan are accustomed to. A country where a girl is shot dead and all the top politico-social and military sectors are on toes but when a sexually abused angel cries, the top brass and social stallions seem dead and totally ignorant about it. The dual face of this society has become a curse and if it is not tackled, the society will be the victim of a wrath. A child is symbolised as an angel and Pakistan should be sorry for being a cursed land where the angels cry for losing their smiles and pristine innocence.

By: Syed Zuhaib Hussnain