By Aditya Aamir
The rape of an eight-month-old baby in Delhi by her 27-year-old cousin was picked up by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper within minutes of it being reported in India. And the outrage in India was matched by the outrage expressed in Dawn 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.
Dawn could not keep itself from taking this snide shot at India and its “rape capital Delhi”: “An eight-month old Indian girl was on Tuesday recovering in hospital after she was raped at her home in Delhi, the latest such case in a city notorious for high levels of sexual violence.”
This when Pakistan and its media were still trying to make sense out of why a seven-year-old girl “with green eyes” was abducted, gang-raped and murdered in a Lahore town, now identified as the “rape capital” of Pakistan, where child pornography is available for as little as “ten rupees”.
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.
Last month, however, the seven-year-old “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 Dawn newspaper was replete with stories of rape and murder of minor girls across Kasur and the rest of Pakistan. 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.
And for the first time in years, Pakistanis – who used to troll Indians on Social Media for being ‘born rapists’ and India the “Rape Capital of the World” – were a subdued lot, also self-critical, asking themselves how could there be so much evil thriving in their midst. Zainab became the clarion call to rid Pakistani society of such evil.
To the horror of Pakistanis, a television anchor said on live TV that the abductor-rapist-murderer of Zainab and the five other minor girls before her was part of global child pornography-ring, and that he had the backing and support of powerful Pakistanis, including a Punjab government minister. The Chief Justice of Pakistan SC asked the TV anchor to prove his claims or else… So far he hasn’t.
But the shell-shocked Pakistanis were left 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.
Dawn claimed that “three children were raped every day in Delhi alone” forgetting that it had only the other day said, “It hasn’t even been a fortnight since seven-year-old Zainab Ansari was raped and killed but Kasur is back to its ways… The demons in Kasur have been laid bare for the past three or four years for the worst of crimes: the sexual abuse of children. In 2015, a child pornography ring was busted, where more than 200 children of Hussain Khanwala village were being filmed…As per statistics compiled by non-government organization Sahil, 285 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded in this case.”
Seems like Indians and Pakistanis are the scum of the earth, both countries populated with people who commit crimes against children and people who do nothing to put a halt to the depravity taking place around them. (IPA Service)