The Kasur child abuse scandal shook the foundations of the country, and yet a year later we are unable to protect the children of this country from rape, let alone murder and there is no interest in knowing if the suspects and perpetrators were meted justice.

A local prayer leader was accused and arrested for raping a 11-year-old seminary student in Lakki Marwat, Peshawar, on Tuesday. The boy was tortured and locked for 24 hours before he could escape. Predators are allowed to care for little children in seminaries and it is time to separate men from children in seminaries, whether they are respected clerics or otherwise. It is time for parents to be vigilant and demand justice; it is better to be safe than sorry. The religious system and the legal system are both not looking out for children. When places of worship become those of abuse and torture then there is something wrong with the religious system that we have set up and revered. Many have said that the Kasur scandal was only the tip of the iceberg and it is. We are in deep moral crisis as a society.

The Joint Investigation Team investigated and lodged some FIRs under sections of sodomy. But, despite repeated assurances by the chief minister and the IG that justice will be served, an anti-terrorism court this month removed Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) sections from a case registered in connection with the Kasur Scandal and transferred the case to sessions court for further hearing. If leniency is shown toward the perpetrators, if the perpetrators get bail or released, it will mean that we have accepted sexual perversion as normal... that too in a state that professes to be the “land of the pure”.