Constructive criticism

LARKANA: This is in response to the letter titled ‘Political point-scoring and rape’ by Maria Amin published on January 11th in this newspaper. I beg to differ with the crux of her letter.

While defending the Punjab government and the Sharifs, the writer has completely failed to present the concrete line of action that was put in place to curb the crime under discussion. In the wake of Kasur tragedy, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s criticism of the Punjab government over the issue of child sexual abuse is neither unjustified nor irrational.

In 2015, a gang of paedophiles running a ring of child sex offenders was busted. The gang had kidnapped around 280 children and physically assaulted them. A Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s fact-finding mission had received credible information indicating a large-scale child sexual abuse over the years in Hussain Khan Wala village in Kasur. It concluded that the failure to take action lent support to charges that the local police were in cahoots with the culprits. Was any action taken against the alleged offence? Certainly not.

Before Zainab, 11 other girls went through the same ordeal before being silenced for life. Had those involved been taken to task, the tragedy with Zainab certainly would have not occurred. There is no denying the fact that the issue exists across the country but Kasur has emerged as an epicentre of child abuse. It was because of this impunity that the aggrieved family of the victim appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief of the army staff to assure that justice is done. This direct appeal to the unelected office holders by the family speaks volumes about the public trust in the elected and the chosen ones.

This exposes the poor governance witnessed by the PML-N government. Political discourse and criticism that highlights the ground realities and the inefficiency of the government should not be seen as political point-scoring. Impartiality demands objectivity of arguments.

Nazeer Ahmed Arijo

Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2018.

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