Let’s stay focused: Zainab’s case merits exhaustive probe

  • Hasty hanging of the criminal buries a treasure trove of information that may prevent youth from becoming pathological criminals. Surety not severity of punishment deters crime

We have steered ourselves into the realm of perplexity. Diversity of opinions coupled with the freedom to amplify them on social media reflects on a nation with a guilty conscience that is rushing towards the hasty trial of a kidnapper, a rapist and a murderer. The mainstream media has gotten carried away too. Capital punishment is a popular outcry: Even Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, thinks public hanging of the perpetrator is only fair. So much for the rule of law!

The arrest of Imran Ali, the alleged pedophile, amidst enormous public rage has spun into a unique episode in the Land of the Pure. The demand for public hanging stems from a people longing for catharsis. Should a little thought not be dedicated to exploring the objectives hoped to be achieved from the terrifying act? One set of people believes that a quick and harsh decision will be extraordinarily beneficial to the powerful faces colluding with the criminal mafia. Worth quoting here is Bangambiki Habyarimana, from The Great Pearl of Wisdom, “The most savage of humankind are the most advanced.”

To understand and prevent such heinous crimes in the future, Zainab’s killers hold the key. Like elsewhere in the civilized world, the mindset and social setting of such a criminal is important to be grasped to create an early warning mechanism. The overly opinionated nation believes that a serial killer and rapist can’t act on his own. There has to be a gang or mafia directing such horrible actions. There are no set rules. Humans act in strange ways. An individual can commit serial murders and rapes due to a particular psychological situation. Blaming this on a racket or network holds no ground without clear and abundant evidence.

Now the revelation that a violent child pornography network used the dark internet to transmit horrific criminal act deserves a more patient investigation and trial of the accused. The hasty death sentence of the criminal means doing away with the vital information he holds.

Dr. Shahid Masood, a TV personality, asserts to have evidence of an involvement of not only the dark web but of a government minister as well. Conversely, the government of Punjab has denied Imran’s connections with any pedophiliac ring as of yet.

Pedophiliac rings broadcast the heinous act live on dark web, unreachable even by an adept internet user largely.  Even a random search never lands on its pages. Its worldwide usage for violent child molestation and rape isn’t a secret anymore.  

If Imran Ali, the alleged pedophile, is a member of an international pedophiliac devils’ ring, the probe must publicly and imminently reveal all the perpetrators and abettors involved. Upright and devoted officers will be able to succeed only if they are granted foolproof security assurance. Otherwise, the powerful and influential people behind the perpetrator will do away with him too.

The enormity of the epidemic can be judged by the following facts: Only in 2016, 4,139 children are reported to have fallen prey to pedophiles, according to Sahil, an organization documenting child molestation in the country. Cruel Numbers, Sahil’s report, reflects that 11 children suffered the agony every day in the year 2016, 10% more than the previous year.

The report elaborates, “This year reported cases under major crime categories are; abduction 1455, rape 502, sodomy 453, gang rape 271, gang sodomy 268 and 362 cases of attempt of CSA. An even more serious crime is committed when the victim is murdered. A total of 100 victims were murdered after sexual assaults. Following the previous year’s data, more girls have been sexually abused this year as well. Cruel Numbers data reveals that 2410 girls and 1729 boys are victims of sexual exploitation.”

In the first half of 2017, the reported cases of child sexual abuse numbered 1,764, according to Sahil. The deliberate condoning of pedophilia and incessant slumber of our political elite is shocking: The following image -taken from sahil.org- is of a survey which speaks a lot about the immensity of the epidemic in our society.

Photo Courtesy: Sahil.org

Lack of emphasis on defining our social failures regarding child sexual abuse is criminal. We must demand an extensive probe into Zainab’s murder and rape, its methodology and outcomes. Why weren’t the criminals of Kasur incident of 2015 captured and tried? And who is responsible for this failure?

Society’s rudiment is a fear of punishment: a tool to control and make others act as the social system desires. Managing to protect others is needed instead of managing to protect ourselves which leads to self-preservation. Learning to avoid the punishment is like manipulating the society just as a politician does. Predominantly, three kinds of fears intimidate a person: fear of God, fear of punishment and fear of ignominy. Imran, the alleged pedophile, is bereft of both: all kinds of fear as well as poise. Punishment isn’t a solution: Training people to love and protect others will pave the path to peace, harmony and prosperity. But it doesn’t mean that perpetrators should not be punished: Law of the land must find its course. The heinous act of child sexual abuse must result in capital punishment of the criminal, notwithstanding whether publicly or not.

How serial killers, rapists and kidnappers succeed in portraying themselves as loving sons, caring friends and law-abiding community members?  Piteously, we have failed as parents, neighbours and friends. Pedophiles practice the horrific acts of molestation, murder and abduct our children while we keep our eyes closed and live in a realm far-off.

Not only do innocent children become easy victims of predatory pedophiles, but also the criminals audaciously insult and indignify the humanity because of lack of communication and absence of due observation by parents, neighbours and friends.

A team of highly skilled experts recording even the minutest detail of Imran, the pedophiliac predator, can help prepare a document recommending preemptive measures. Family, friends and neighbours of the perpetrator should also be interviewed to uncover his everyday activities. We must know how and why we failed to prevent Zainab and Asma from being sexually molested and murdered. Zainab was abducted for four days. Why and how was the perpetrator’s family so distant and unaware of his activities that they didn’t even entertain any suspicion? The investigation must provide the solutions to these sociological problems.

Reintegration and reconstruction of the damaged social fabric must hold the pivotal significance. All the findings of probing the pedophiliac monster would facilitate the parents and educators to devise a methodology in order to spread awareness and train children to develop a strong personality.

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Naeem Ahmed Qazi

Naeem Ahmed Qazi

Naeem Ahmed Qazi is committed to helping achieve SDGs through efficient practices for human development. As an educationist by training and social influencer by passion, he has a keen eye for current societal transformation. He serves as a development consultant for national and foreign institutions.