Khalida Niaz

PESHAWAR: Little girl from Mohmand tribal district, Farishta did not know at the time of stepping outside her home for playing that she would be kidnapped, tortured, raped and then her body will be set on fire in a forest by the savages who kidnapped her.

Farishta was not the only girl who was killed after sexual abuse. Such cases have been reported recently from different parts of the country and mutilated bodies of the rape victims have been found in forests, fields and other deserted places.

Ten-year-old Farishta was living with her poor family in Islamabad. She went out of her house on May 15, but did not return. She was kidnapped, sexually abused, tortured and then her mutilated body was found in a forest. The father and brother of Farishta had to go through unimaginable pain when police, instead of filing a case of the missing girl and helping the poor family, told them that she might have eloped with someone.

Unfortunately, the law enforcement personnel have forgot that they are also the members of the same society in which we are living and they can also face a similar situation in future. The government woke up only after protests staged by the relatives of the victim girl and civil society activists. A section of media also played questionable role in the whole episode by blaming the father of Farishta of making a fake Pakistani CNIC. Latter it was proved that the family is Pakistani and all speculations against them were baseless.

All the girls and their families are respectable disregarding their religion, creed, colour or background and all of them deserve to be treated alike. Finally, the law enforcement agencies have initiated efforts for arrest of the culprits involved in the murder of Farishta. But here the question arises whether only the people raising voice on the social media will get justice. Sexual abuse incidents are happening regularly in different parts of the country and in some cases the culprits kill the victims fearing that they might reveal their names.

Sexual abuse cases are happening in Pakistan since long, but the issue got public attention after six-year-old Zenab from Kasur was killed after sexual abuse and the culprit was arrested after massive protests. The culprit was eventually hanged after nine months of the incident. People got encouragement from that case and now many people report such incidents to police. It is considered a good development as in our society one cannot get justice until he raises his voice for it.

Eminent Pashto singer Nazia Iqbal also recently took a bold step by reporting to police that her two daughters were repeatedly sexually abused by her own brother. Despite propaganda against her, she remained steadfast and continued her struggle for justice for her daughters.

Psychologists cite different reasons behind sexual abuse. The people who themselves face sexual abuse during childhood also tend to abuse children when they grow up. Such incidents also happen frequently because children are relatively an easier target for sexual abuse then the grown up people.

Despite hanging of the culprit behind sexual abuse of Zenab, such incidents are not coming to an end which means much more needs to be done. Campaigns should be carried out in government and private educational institutions for creating awareness among students in this regard. Media should also play its role in this regard. Parents also need to keep an eye on their children and activities of their friends. Parents must specially focus on keeping their children away from the misuse of internet which can potentially ignite sexual desire.