The Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior on Monday passed a resolution condemning the abduction and sexual abuse of children and recommending that the culprits in such cases be hanged.
Presided over by Senator Rehman Malik, the committee called for police to setup a Whatsapp helpline for where child abuse cases can be reported. It also tasked a sub-committee — headed by Senator Shahi Syed — to compile within four weeks a more detailed report on how to deal with such cases.
Mohammad Amin, the father of Zainab Ansari — whose brutal rape and murder in Kasur earlier this month sparked nationwide outrage, was also present for Monday’s session.
He complained of gross negligence on the Kasur police’s part, telling the committee: “This incident took place on January 4. We [the family] called Rescue 15 that very night, but the police did not seem serious in trying to recover Zainab.”
“Police officials used to visit us and leave after having tea,” the father complained. “They did nothing over the first five days of her abduction. We even gave them money.”
“We asked them to bring in sniffer dogs, but they never did,” Amin alleged, adding that the police has now started harassing their neighbours and relatives in their quest for Zainab’s murderer, a serial killer who remains at large.
The bereaved father also spoke of another abduction in Kasur, whose case, he claimed, has not yet been registered by police. “They’re trying to scare away her parents,” he alleged.
Also in attendance during Monday’s session was the man in charge of the Zainab murder case investigation, Deputy Inspector General Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh, who told the committee that six victims were subjected to sexual abuse and deadly assault between July 2017 till date.
He said that 692 people have been investigated so far, while DNA testing of 696 has been conducted, of which the results of 125 have not yet been received.
The DIG assured the committee that geo-fencing is being conducted and the case is progressing. However, he refrained from giving a time frame for the resolution of the case.
“Zainab’s murderer can be caught tomorrow or it can take several months; we cannot say anything with certainty,” he said.
Senate Chairman takes notice
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, after being briefed by Senator Malik, ordered that a national commission on the rights of children be formed while also directing human rights organisations and Interior committees to visit Kasur and compile a report.
“Committees must visit Kasur immediately,” he said. “We should be informed about all the facts and progress of the Zainab case. We need to know why the beast behind this incident has still not been caught.”