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Unforgivable Lapse

by Newsweek Pakistan

Asif Hassan—AFP

The murder and rape of yet another child in Kasur has exposed the very real dangers facing children in Pakistan

Zainab, a 7-year-old girl, was reportedly abducted from her native Kasur on Jan. 4, raped for four days, murdered, and then dumped in a rubbish heap near her home on Jan. 9. Kasur erupted in violence after a report made to the police following the abduction was treated as routine. There was accumulated rage too. According to an official count, Zainab was the eighth minor to have been raped and murdered in Kasur in the past year. This was too much even by Pakistani standards. The country is convulsed with rage.

The District Police Officer told media 5,000 suspects had been arrested and medical tests had been carried out on 67 of them. DNA tests of 20 of them were conducted but “the results did not match the samples taken from the victims’ bodies.” The first incident had occurred in 2015, which gives one the measure of how incompetent the police and administration of Kasur have been regarding what was no crime of routine.

As officials made known, it is not only Kasur where this outrage has been perpetrated; after Kasur, possibly copycat assaults occurred in Okara, Pattoki and Ganda Singhwala. Or the sick marauder started traveling around to pounce upon his victims. Around eight boys were also murdered after criminal assault in 2017. Inspector–General of Police Punjab, Arif Nawaz, told the media that “a single man appeared to be involved in all the cases of child rape and murder.”

Pakistan has been jolted into focus as such incidents have been on the rise all over the country. Middle and lower-middle class parents focus only on religious instruction to their children, who are not trained at home and school against the psychopaths who might prey on them. This crime, however, is not confined to Pakistan. But while it occurs on some level globally, vulnerable children in other parts of the world are taught to be aware of potential dangers, and the local administration is better sensitized to the crime.

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