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    Pakistan's child abuse

    http://209.238.55.27/tft2.htm
    (From The Friday Times)

    ************************************************** ******************************

    Pakistan's wall of silence on
    child abuse
    (by Richard Galpin)


    Anew report on attitudes to child sex abuse in Pakistan's North-West
    Frontier Province paints a horrifying picture of widespread abuse. The
    report shows that much of the population believes that the sexual abuse of
    young boys is a matter of pride.


    The United Nations is shortly to publish the first nation-wide survey on
    child sex-abuse in Pakistan - an acutely sensitive subject in this deeply
    conservative Islamic country.


    The first indications of the scale of the problem have been revealed in this
    early report from North-West Frontier Province. It shows that one third of
    those who took part in the survey did not even believe that child sexual
    abuse was a bad thing - let alone a crime.


    The UN believes the sexual abuse of young children is widespread in some
    areas of the country but that until now it has been hidden behind a wall of
    silence.


    In Pakistan much of the population lives in squalid slums where children are
    forced to play their part in the day to day survival of the family. That means
    working in places such as the notorious Pirwadhai bus station in Rawalpindi.


    Here there are hundreds of young boys at work in the grimy workshops and
    sleazy hotels on which the bus station's reputation is based for this is a
    centre of child sexual abuse.


    One boy told me that local hotels encouraged the trade: "The hotel-owners
    employ children who are used to attract customers. The customers are then
    told what kind of services are provided and that they can do what they
    want with the children. The hotels here are very well known for these
    services. And it's good money for us."


    Their clients are men from all backgrounds - travelling from one part of the
    country to another - thus freed from the constraints of life at home in this
    conservative society. With girls mostly kept at home - they prey on these
    working boys who are extremely vulnerable to abuse.


    Although at present there is little data on child sexual abuse in Pakistan,
    experts such as the clinical psychologist, Kamran Ahmad, believe it is
    widespread: "There is a lot of repression of sexuality so what happens is
    that it shows up in unhealthy forms. You rarely find healthy expressions of
    sexuality in everyday life so sexual abuse becomes very common"


    For the victims it is a terrifying ordeal. A boy told us how he had been raped
    when he was just 7 years old. He said the men in his village were like dogs.
    "They would eat you like a dog", he said. "It was not safe for any young
    fair-skinned boy to go out alone. It was a tradition to molest boys."


    According to the report many people in Frontier Province are also well
    aware that men in the area keep boys specifically for sex.


    All this seems to be a result of the rigid segregation of men and women in
    Pakistan, which is most seriously enforced in the Pashtoon areas of the
    North. Under Pashtoon culture it is very difficult for a young man to
    interact with the opposite sex - particularly in the rural areas. Young boys
    therefore become the targets of abuse.


    But the government is starting to recognise the issue. Secretary at the
    Ministry of Women's Development and Social Welfare at the time of this
    interview, Muzzafar Quresh, says : "We're beginning to realise that it is a
    serious problem.


    "We've initiated several studies to try to measure the extent and there's
    also some evidence coming out about what happens to children and the need
    for greater attention to rehabilitate them and to bring them back to a
    normal social life."


    But in reality only a handful of organisations are helping children at risk of
    being exploited and abused. The subject is still far too hidden for there to
    be a concerted campaign to rescue the many victims.


    The publication of the nationwide survey on child sexual abuse is a critical
    test for both the government and Pakistani society as a whole.


    It will prompt painful introspection - but the hope is that it will lead to
    positive reform.

    #2
    Thanks hmcq for posting this article.


    Although Northern areas of Pakistan are commonly stereotyped for such horrid abuse, I think other areas in Pakistan are also infested significantly, if not equally, with such mind-boggling acts of cruelty. Dera Ghazi Khan and surrounding areas are quite prominent among others.

    It is probably true that sexual deprivation and limited contact to the opposite sex in Pakistan is the major reason behind such behaviour but I think eventually and gradually it does not remain so for the opperssor. In Lahore, I heard of quite few people, who even married with childeren, were involved in such sinister crimes.

    One of my strongest disbeliefs in Pakistani system and society comes out of the fact that we always talk about corruption, poverty, and all that other crap but nobody pays attention to these extreme acts of inhumanity. Issues like these are always given low priority. Important things have always been to fight for Kashmir, establish Islamic law (please no BS on the vague implication of the so called idealogy that if we would have Islamic laws, problems like these be minimized or solved automatically) and ten thousand other items on the priority list. These issues are problems at hand just like the others on the list.

    It's so overwhelmingly disgusting to see that we have never done anything at any level to eliminate such social evils that exist at the very frontier of our social system. No wonder there is little data available on child sexual abuse in Pakistan. And it sure doesn't take a clinical psychologist to realize that the problem is widespread. All it requires is to visit Dera Ghazi Khan and hear the common saying "as long as there are no hair on the palm and pulse is running".

    I can never look into the eyes of a seven years old, sexually abused child as the guilt of not doing anything about it rests on my shoulders.

    Comment


      #3
      My dear guppers

      In our current condition, we will never be able to solve our problems. If you were to tackle the child abuse issue (assuming we try to tackle it ourselves), what about rest of the issues, such as:

      1. gambling
      2. liquor
      3. prostitution
      4. narcotics
      5. illege regimes
      6. illegal confiscation of people's property

      and many many many more issues that are common in Pakistan, if not in the open, then they are hidden. But they are there.

      The point I'm trying to make is that the problems are many. If we tackle problems in Pakistan, what about the problems facing other muslims? Are we not one Ummah? Are we not like a body that if one part hurts, the entire body hurts?

      The problem mentioned here (child abuse) is not a problem. It is a symptom. The main problem is that the mankind's affairs are being totally mis-handled by the current political establishment.

      So the problem here is not a small one. The main problem is the current political establishment in muslim countries. They need to be removed and the constitution would have to be totally wiped out and replace it with a just system, Islam.

      Otherwise we can spend our lifetime chasing one problem at a time and get no where, because these problems/symptoms are the natural phenomena of the social/political/economic/ruling/judicial systems that are in place. These systems are the problem.

      Wa'salam
      Mostansar

      Comment


        #4
        I think the worst case of child abuse in the history of Pakistan was the one of that serial killers' who first sexually abused the HUNDRED boys and then KILLED them.
        Infact if he hadn't admitted it itself, our beloved Police would have never found out about all this.
        Makes you wonder what kinda society you are living in eh?

        Comment


          #5
          We have to start from somewhere. If we just sit around and talk about problems then we are not gonna get anywhere. But if we each start to tackle one problem at a time , we can sure make a dent in the system . Very often human beings are looking for the quick fix, the instant gratification, the fast results.... we should remember it is easier for a ship to to tip over then for it to right it self and its the same with the problems of Pakistan. They are not things that are going to go away right away, all i hope for is that when i my kids are grown they can look back and say, yes we live in a system thats not perfect but look our parents worked hard at making the system better and its happening.

          As for doing something, have you ever wondered how much it does to just help single child. Give a single kid the opportunity that we have had to have education, to be able to go see a docter and live a life thats not filled up with hardship from the start but there is hope too.. Just one kid.... just helping one kid can make a GREAT chnage.... if there is one person who gets educated and starts earning a living , its not only the fact that he has been able to get an education, but also the fact that he is no longer and economic drain on the economny but an actual part of the countries growth. He is then able to influence people around him, as well as support them... as such just that one kid has a great pyramid effect... just helping out one kid, 20 yrs down the road can make a big difference to a village or community. so we need to look at the long term not the short term and taking on problem one at a time is very possible and may be even neccessary.


          anyways, continuing the debate... i am posting some comments on my original post from another place and an other time.
          >>>>>>>>>>>>&g t;>>>>>>>>>>>
          > Although at present there is little data on child sexual abuse in Pakistan,
          > experts such as the clinical psychologist, Kamran Ahmad, believe it is
          > widespread: "There is a lot of repression of sexuality so what happens is
          > that it shows up in unhealthy forms. You rarely find healthy expressions of
          > sexuality in everyday life so sexual abuse becomes very common"

          What does the last part mean exactly? What is a "healthy expression of
          sexuality"? I can accept that these people find marriage difficult, but
          that is not an excuse. Is that what this "psychologist" is suggesting, or
          does he think orgies will solve the problem?. The sad fact is that all weak
          people are oppressed in Pakistan, and that this particular problem is a
          manifestation of that fact. It must be that people find "healthy expression
          of sexuality" similarly difficult in Southeast Asia, which leads to the
          rampant abuse of children there...


          >...
          >
          > All this seems to be a result of the rigid segregation of men and women in
          > Pakistan, which is most seriously enforced in the Pashtoon areas of the
          > North. Under Pashtoon culture it is very difficult for a young man to
          > interact with the opposite sex - particularly in the rural areas. Young boys
          > therefore become the targets of abuse.

          The "therefore" is misplaced. The cause and effect are not as mentioned
          here. "I cannot find a woman hence I will rape a kid" is not reasonable.
          The standard theory:

          1) Religion enforces segregation.
          2) Segregation makes men desperate
          3) Desperation makes men rape kids.

          is wrong on all three counts.


          > But the government is starting to recognise the issue. Secretary at the
          > Ministry of Women's Development and Social Welfare at the time of this
          > interview, Muzzafar Quresh, says : "We're beginning to realise that it is a
          > serious problem.

          Whoopee for them. They are only beginning to realize that amazingly there
          are problems in the country. Where did these people come from?


          > "We've initiated several studies to try to measure the extent and there's
          > also some evidence coming out about what happens to children and the need
          > for greater attention to rehabilitate them and to bring them back to a
          > normal social life."

          Let's give them credit for believing that even after the abuse it is
          possible to make everything alright with a little bit of governmental
          attention.

          > But in reality only a handful of organisations are helping children at
          > risk of
          > being exploited and abused. The subject is still far too hidden for there to
          > be a concerted campaign to rescue the many victims.

          While it is not regularly discussed in the press or on tv, few people are
          unaware of the problem. People need to be taught, empowered, and encouraged
          to use all means at their disposal to frustrate these criminals. Tolerance
          of these acts should be wiped out. No person may oppress another. That rule
          may never be violated. Fixing the country is the responsibility of each
          individual. Whoever gets in the way, whether it be the government, army,
          bureaucracy, or police should be removed.

          > The publication of the nationwide survey on child sexual abuse is a critical
          > test for both the government and Pakistani society as a whole.


          So if the survey says that there is a lot of child abuse the government
          will be vindicated? Or is it that public acknowledgement that one in three
          guys in NWFP abuses kids will make us all feel so much better? I am all for
          honesty, but stopping the abuse by all means available is essential. Mere
          acknowledgement is not enough.


          > It will prompt painful introspection - but the hope is that it will lead to
          > positive reform.

          Introspect all you want, but that will not fix the problem. Positive reform
          is to bring these molesters to justice. But since that hasn't happened for
          most other crimes in the country as well, I am not very hopeful.

          Comment


            #6
            Asalamo-Alaikum

            Solving a societal problem is different than helping one kid individually.

            Helping each individual is not going to solve the problem, even though helping individuals holds great results, BUT that is not the solution to the problem. And our discussion evolves around the solution, not individual assistance.

            The solution I'm trying to educate myself on, as well as others, is Islam. Islam ultimately solves all these problems only when it's implemented in totality, otherwise, these problems are not going to get solved. If we beleve otherwise, then we're lacking a clear understanding of reality of the issue/problem.

            Wa'salam
            Mostansar

            Comment


              #7
              Yes Islam can solve problems. Agreeed... but what your saying about been able to help a kid not helping is worng... If you look at almost all the aid/NGOs working in Pakistan, they are benefitting people not cause they are making polcy changes but rather cause they help one person or one village at a time... if you look at the green bank in bangladesh... its made a lot of very poor people able to support themselves and the only reason it has been able to do ythat is cause every human has the reslove in us to succeed.. allah has already given us that... what we need is the opportunity .... and that is what I mean by the one kid.... give a person an opportunity and they will use thier resolve to succeed and affect others.... but this model only works if we look at the long term not the short....


              Yes policy changes are great... but they are only as good as they are implemented and if not implemented correctly they only make the system worse... a better way might to be for the small individual efforts to lead to a policy change..... a building from the bottom up as against from the top down...

              Comment


                #8
                balyea are we talkin abt a revolution here? it does not happen overnite dear brother...
                waisey bhi do u think just by changing the present laws to islamic laws, we'll get rid of the sick mentality?
                these ppl are already so called muslims....all they need is a heart!

                kheir, like Roman said..tthis is the problem with us,,,we talk abt getting rid of corruption etc, bringing abt 'islamic' revolution....and forget far more serious issues....
                we'll keep talkin...wasting our time, not realizing that this isnt going to help the millions of ppl who r being exploited..

                Comment


                  #9
                  AsalamoAlaikum
                  I totally agree that helping individuals holds great results and that every individual can succeed if given the opportunity, and that is exactly what most of the people in Pakistan are lacking, opportunity.
                  So then the issue becomes the lack of opportunities. I'm not trying to make this into a personal debate, but rather trying to understand the situation/reality as it stands. Since the problem seems to be lack of opportunities/resources, do you not think that's the result of a 'corrupt' and a 'wrong' system?

                  I also think that the fact that Islam is not implemented in totality is the worst problem that muslims have ever faced. One, because it is fard (kifayah) to have a Islamic state that implements Islam in totality, otherwise we're all committing a sin ( I read this from a book called 'The Islamic State). Two, because it will help to get rid of these corrupt systems and give us the chance to worship Allah swt in every sphere of life. I know this is not going to happen over night. It might take years, Allah swt knows best. But if we work to educate ourselves and others about the right solution then I think it can happen. BUT in the meantime, we should continue on to help others, individually or collectively but as long as the long term objective is to get rid of this corrupt system and replace it with Islam, then that might sound suitable. But if we work to just help individuals without realizing the proper solution, then I don't think these problems are going to get solved.
                  And Allah knows best.

                  Wa'salam
                  Mostansar

                  Comment


                    #10
                    100 kid were killed after being sexually abuse Guess what it happend in PUNJAB(nothing can be as sick as that PUNJABI MAN)
                    By the way all the white PPL(us,English citizen) love Karchi for that matter.


                    ------------------
                    pUNJABI DUTHI
                    NA SHAKL NA AKAL

                    [This message has been edited by NWFP (edited December 27, 1999).]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      NWFP... we really don't need [email protected]#[email protected]#$ like you who use the internet to promote provincial racism... whatever happened to just pakistani's. Ignorant, uneducated, jaahil folk like you need not post about how bad punjab or sindh etc are... grow up.

                      [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited December 28, 1999).]

                      Comment


                        #12
                        NWFP
                        and what exactly does your post have to do with this interaction?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          NWFP, our beloved prophet (saaw) said, leave nationalism, it's sick. and in another ahadith, he said people who promote nationalism is like 'khara', which, means ****.

                          Please do not think I'm hinting this at you
                          I'm just doing my job as a muslim to inform everyone, including myself (firstmost).

                          Wa'salam
                          Mostansar

                          Comment


                            #14



                            [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited December 28, 1999).]

                            Comment


                              #15
                              and what exactly does your post have to do with this interaction?
                              hummmm let me see isnt you post about child abouse!!!!!! the 100 killed were are KIDS(6-15 YEAR OLD)(since it happend in Punjab YOU WOULD NOT LIKE TO MENTION IT ON NET HUH)
                              100 kids were missing parents didnt even know ($#%@#[email protected][email protected]#[email protected]#[email protected]#[email protected]#
                              BAN KA RAHE GA pUKTUNISTAN

                              [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited December 28, 1999).]

                              Comment

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