Zainab’s father to sue TV channel for telefilm

Zainab’s father to sue TV channel for telefilm

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KASUR: Amin Ansari, the father of six-year-old Zainab who was raped and murdered in Kasur in January this year, has announced to file a case against a private TV channel that is making a telefilm on his daughter.

“The TV channel did not bother to seek my permission. I would not allow anyone to use the name of my daughter for one’s vested interest. I am going to sue the TV channel that has announced making a telefilm on Zainab,” says Mr Ansari while talking to Dawn.

After the telefilm, the people may suspect that he has sold the name of Zainab, he says.

The move of a private TV channel for making a telefilm on the rape-cum-murder case that had jolted the entire country has drawn criticism not only from her family but the local public as well as social media.

Amin Ansari is also going to sue a UK-based non-government organisation (NGO) for ‘misusing’ the name of his daughter for its vested interest. He says the case of Zainab has nothing to do with this NGO that is bent upon making money in her name.

“The UK-based NGO recently visited Kasur and did video recording in our locality. Its representatives visited the school of Zainab in the Munir Shaheed Colony as is shown in the video clip where they met the school administration, teachers and students.”

Mr Ansari says that like the TV channel, the NGO also did not bother to see him and seek his permission.

The video clip, available with Dawn, shows the NGO representatives giving lecture to the minor students, sensitising them to child abuse. Later, it shows the students raising their hands, waving pamphlets of the NGO and answering questions. The representatives also distribute gifts among the students.

In the beginning of the 3.26 min clip, a representative of NGO says that the organisation had visited many schools in the area, including that of Zainab, to spread awareness. He says there are many similar incidents like Zainab’s that went unreported and stresses importance of educating children to keep them safe. At the end of the clip while addressing the viewers, he announces they are going to arrange an Iftar dinner on 10th of Ramazan in Manchester for fundraising to build a centre in the UK for women, orphan children and victims of abuse. The representative seeks donations from the viewers.

Amin Ansari says the NGO has no right to use the name of Zainab for fundraising.

According to Dawn.com, the telefilm, Zainab Kay Qatil, has 65 characters and it has been written by known writer Umera Ahmed. Kashif Kabeer, the executive producer of the project, says the telefilm would be screened in cinemas and international festivals.

It is pertinent to mention that Shahzad Hameed’s documentary on Kasur’s sexual abuse scandal in Hussain Khanwala village, titled Kasur’s Lost Children, had won an award at the New York Festival in 2017.

Though the moviemakers might have their own logic yet the civil society, locals and social media users have expressed resentment against the film on Zainab.

Saeed Ahmed, a lawyer from Kasur, thinks that capital punishment for the culprit is a lesson for the people and there is no need to make a movie on the Zainab incident, especially without permission of the family.

Ghulam Ahmed Ansari, another local, has objected to the stereotyping in the telefilm’s poster that shows a bearded man, having a mehrab (mark on the forehead those regular with the Muslim prayer usually carry) shutting the mouth of the child who is playing the character of Zainab.

The image has invited criticism on the social media, especially twitter, where some users have flayed the moviemakers, calling them ‘insensitive’.

Zainab had gone missing on Jan 4 and her body was found on Jan 9. Her rapist and murderer, Imran Ali, was arrested about three weeks later. He was awarded death sentence by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in February.

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