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KARACHI: The Sindh Assem­bly on Thursday adopted a resolution unanimously calling upon the Punjab government to take every possible step for a speedy trial of the case of rape and murder of minor girl Zainab, which took place in Kasur recently, to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

The resolution tabled by Senior Minister Nisar Ahmad Khuhro and Khair-un-Nisa Mughal, followed by Heer Soho of the MQM, Nusrat Sahar Abbasi of the PML-F and Sorath Thebo of the PML-N, expressed heartfelt condolence and sympathy with the bereaved family.

Before putting the resolution to vote by the chair almost all lady speakers termed the incident a lesson for Pakistani society. We all ought to take necessary measures to protect our children from such beasts. They said such inhuman person/s must not only be hanged publicly, but also cut into pieces and demanded legislation for protection of children so that such incidents should not occur again and criminals should think before committing such crimes.

Mr Khuhro said that it was indeed an extremely heartrending incident and those involved in the crime did not deserve any mercy.

Heer Soho said that parents should keep an eye on their children and give training to protect them. She pleaded to hold workshops to create awareness among people to train their children for protection from such beasts.

MQM’s parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmad termed the incident horrifying and said that Leader of the Opposition Khwaja Izharul Hasan, along with two MPAs, had gone to Kasur to sympathise with the parents of Zainab on behalf of the people of Sindh and their representatives.

Nusrat Sahar Abbasi said these incidents often took place as such beasts were freely roaming who could commit a crime with any child. She said this incident had woken us to ponder how to check such beasts.

Shamim Mumtaz, Adviser on Social Welfare, said no doubt such incidents also occurred in other parts of the country, but it was horrified to see that in Punjab the incidents of stripping women and parading them in streets, killing of babies after raping them, and blackmailing the families and children after making their objectionable videos were taking place frequently.

Naheed Begum of the MQM said 11 such incidents had occurred in Kasur in the past few months. The similar incident took place in Iran last year, but the culprit was hanged publicly, she said. “We should also make such laws to give exemplary punishment to the culprits,” she added.

Dr Seema Zia of the PTI said the incident had exposed failure of governments. The protest against the incident was a proof that the people were still alive, but firing by police on the protesters deserved condemnation, she said.

Sorath Thebo said such incidents also occurred in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She recalled that the incidents involving Fazila Saraki and Tania Khaskheli had occurred in Sindh and their parents were still staging protest to get justice.

Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said that those involved in the incident should be given harsh punishment and direct firing by police on the protesters was extremely wrong.

The house adopted the Sindh Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2017, unanimously.

Desk to deal with cases of ‘sexual terrorism against children’

Against the backdrop of the Kasur incident, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday ordered to set up a separate desk at the CM House complaint cell to entertain complaints of crimes against children, particularly what he described as ‘sexual terrorism against children’.

“Our society is degenerating,” a spokesperson for CM House quoted Mr Shah as saying.

“The Islamic values and the values of humanity such as love and care for children and respect for elders are fading away, which is painful.”

“The Kasur incident is a big question mark on the face of our society,” said CM Shah.

The chief minister ordered for setting up of a separate desk, where complaints pertaining to crime against children would be entertained.

The spokesperson said the phone number of the cell were 021-99202080-1, 99207394, and 99207568.

Mr Shah asked the complaint cell’s duty officer(s) to forward such complaints to the police stations concerned and also send them to him on his WhatsApp number so that prompt, coordinated and strict action could be taken.

“I have given clear instructions to the police to deal such cases as terrorism cases,” said Mr Shah.

The chief minister also asked the education ministry to educate children and create awareness in them of sexual assaults and such other crimes.

“I believe it is sexual terrorism against children and such criminals would be booked accordingly,” he said.

He asked the chief secretary to invite recommendations from experts and civil society to introduce separate chapters on ‘sexual terrorism against children’ in textbooks.

He said it was his government’s prime duty to protect children.

“I am highly worried about the protection of our children after that shocking incident. I need support and guidance from all quarters to educate the society against this kind of terrorism,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018