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The brutal gang rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Indian-administered Kashmir has put the restive state on edge. The rape of an eight-month-old baby in Delhi by her 27-year-old cousin was picked up by Pakistan’s leading newspaper within minutes of it being reported in India. In India, a child is sexually abused every 15 minutes, according to the latest government figures. In Pakistan, 12 children raped and all but one of them killed in a year from one city.
And the outrage in India was matched by the outrage expressed in Pakistani newspaper if only because it gave Pakistanis a moment’s relief that when it came to sexually assaulting minor girls, Indians and Pakistanis were joined at the hip, twins separated at birth, carrying the same worthless, gutless genes that make men both sides of the border do the awful things they do to their children.
Pakistan has been wracked by a series of child abductions in the last “three to four years”, with most of the girl-children ‘taken’, raped and murdered. The majority of these rapes and murders of minor Pakistani girls have been taking place in a town called Kasur in Lahore, Pakistan’s Punjab province where ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif is chief minister.
The police and administration in Kasur had been unable to solve most of the cases of abductions and rape and murder of minor girls. But public rage had not crossed limits to alarm the establishment enough to sit up and take notice.
Pakistanis came out on the streets when not too long ago, seven-year-old girl “with green eyes”, named Zainab, went missing in the town and people all over Pakistan took notice. Zainab’s lifeless body, bearing marks of the rape and torture she was subjected to, was found four days later in a garbage dump, where it was flung by her abductor and killer, and Shahbaz Sharif was up to his neck in trouble.
The Pakistan media churned out story after story; protests on the streets of Lahore left several Pakistanis dead in police firing. The unfortunate Zainab became the symbol of everything that was wrong with Pakistan and Pakistanis.
The widespread sexual depravity in Pakistani men and the proliferation of pornography available in towns like Kasur became a subject of heated discussion. Ghostly men were taking away the girls because nobody saw the perpetrator or the victim. It was the eerily impossible happening around them.
As outrage built to bursting point, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took suo moto notice and ordered “results”, putting pressure on the Punjab government to deliver and not talk. Then, the culprit was caught, his indictment fixed with DNA tests – the man was a serial sexual predator, with Zainab sixth in a string of minor girls who were the victims of his depravity.
The disgusted event left many Pakistanis looking to see if they alone were the scum of the earth. And it appears like they did not have look much further than across the border at arch enemy Indians to find similar fiends.
Indians and Pakistanis cannot separate themselves when it comes to crimes against minor girls. The story there is the story here.
In India one in three rapes across the country are of minors and most of perpetrators are ‘family’ and neighbours, as it is in Pakistan; the children left in their trust by mother and father become victims of that misplaced trust. Nearly 11,000 cases of child-rape were reported in 2015 in India. The numbers in Pakistan are not available but they wouldn’t be far behind.
Seems like the scums of the earth (rapists), are in both countries who commit crimes against children and people who do nothing to put a halt to the depravity taking place around them. We need to understand that rape, molestation and abuse are not in any form linked with religion or nationality.
These issues are a societal dilemma due to which young souls are being ripped away from their right to live a normal life. Due to countless stories of child rape across border and within my own country, I am afraid to give birth to and raise a child in this society. As a woman my-self, my heart aches for the girls who have been through this horrific incident and it fills with enrage when the bodies of girls as young as Asifa and Zainab are found in brutal state laying in garbage bins and forests.