A young girl hired as a domestic worker in Rawalpindi was allegedly tortured by her employers for over a year, it emerged on Saturday.
The child named Kinza, an 11-year-old per her own estimate, says that she is employed as a domestic worker at the residence of Ammara Riaz, a major in the Pakistan Army, and her husband Mohsin Riaz, who is a doctor by profession. The house is located in Wilayat Colony, Scheme III, Chaklala.
The girl, who managed to escape the house, accuses her employers of starving her and torturing her with wires, belts and ropes for over a year. She further says she is kicked and stomped on while she sleeps.
When asked by the videographer to describe how she has been mistreated, she explains that she is not fed properly by the family she lives with, and when she steals food out of hunger, she is administered inhumane beatings.
In the video, Kinza shows injuries that she has sustained, including her bloodshot, black eyes as well as multiple wound marks on her arms, neck and head.
Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari took notice of the case and said the ministry is "keeping a close eye [on the matter] to ensure justice for the little girl".
According to a report submitted to the ministry by Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Abbas Ahsan, the incident came to the Airport police station's knowledge on Friday.
As per the report, the torture of the child was first reported to Rescue 15 by a resident of Wilayat Colony, named Colonel Sajjad.
Col Sajjad informed Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Sajjad Hussain, who was sent to investigate the matter, that Kinza used to live at the house of his neighbour Dr Mohsin and had now come to their (Sajjad's) home.
Col Sajjad then called up Kinza's father, Mohammad Shabbir, and asked him to reach his house. After reaching Col Sajjad's house on Saturday, Shabbir gave a written statement to police saying he had left his daughter at Dr Mohsin's residence "to study" and that he was now taking his daughter back home to Samundri in Faisalabad, where she will continue her studies.
CPO Ahsan told DawnNewsTV that the girl's father refused to press charges and took her back with him to Samundri. The ASI returned and did not file a report, due to which he was suspended.
Shireen Mazari also shared the affidavit submitted by Kinza's father, in which he absolves her employers of any sort of violence and says the child had been injured when "she was climbing the gate in an effort to escape". He also says that his daughter had attempted to escape her employers' house twice in the past as well.
CPO Ahsan said a team of officers had been dispatched to Samundri to bring back Kinza and her father upon which a full investigation will be launched. He said that a medical exam will be conducted to ascertain the extent of the girl's injuries and a probe conducted against the employers.
The army has also been contacted and informed about the allegations against Major Ammara, revealed CPO Ahsan, explaining that the police cannot take any direct action against a serving army officer.
Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner Dr Umar Jahangir was contacted for a response, but could not be reached.