LAHORE - The five-year-old assaulted girl underwent second ‘successful’ surgery at Services Hospital on Thursday. Doctors hoped she would be discharged within a week.
“Today morning, she underwent second surgery successfully. However, she will remain in intensive care unit,” a hospital official told reporters. “She is getting well.”
Separately, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif re-directed the clueless police to nick the culprit(s). “My prime responsibility is to help the aggrieved family in getting justice and I will leave no stone unturned to do my duty,” he said while addressing a meeting held to review police performance. Punjab Home Secretary, IGP, CCPO and other top babus attended the meeting.
According to a handout, the lawmen briefed the CM about the investigation.
Shahbaz stressed the need for using modern technology to bring the beast(s) to book, said the handout, adding that the CM directed forensic experts to submit report at the earliest. He asked the police to brief him daily on the case.
The media broke the horrific news on September 13. Since then, the police of most ‘developed’ province have been groping in the dark. The lawmen have been issuing statements saying that they were working on ‘every aspect’ and they were confident that the beast(s) would be caged. On September 24, police released photos of the prime suspect. The lawmen claimed to have widened the scope of investigation. “Our officers are working on this case tirelessly. We are expecting breakthrough in next two days,” Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khan Baig told reporters.
Call to protect children
The Punjab government should take effective steps by introducing policy, enacting legislation, making budgetary allocation, creating awareness among the stakeholders and prioritising child rights to protect children in Punjab.
Theses demands were raised at a conference organised by the Child Rights Movement Punjab. CRM Punjab’s Coordinator Nazir Gazi while sharing the objectives of the conference condemned the growing number of child abuse cases in Punjab. He demanded of the government to arrest the culprits involved in the rape of five years old girl in Lahore.
Arshad Mahmood briefed the participants about the state of child protection in Punjab. He informed the participants that, according to Sahil NGO, 2,500 cases of child abuse were reported in the media annually which makes it eight cases a day. Similarly, there were more than 45 reported cases of torture and abuse of child domestic workers since Shazia Masih’s case in January 2010 which also resulted in deaths of more than 20 children mostly in Punjab, he added.
He demanded a ban on child domestic labour under the schedule of banned occupations of the Punjab Employment of Children (Amendment) Act 2011. He also demanded of government to establish a commission on the child rights through an act of the assembly to work for the promotion and protection of child rights in the province.
Hussain Ali Sina threw light on the importance of Child Protection System. He said that it was important to establish a child protection system linking state mechanisms with communities to prevent growing violence and abuse against children.
It was agreed in the meeting that Punjab Child Rights Movement should have sustained campaign for policy and legislation, budgetary allocation, prevention of child abuse and inclusion of life skills education for children in curricula and the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill.
“The importance of media’s role in creating awareness among the masses to prevent growing violence against children in the society also came under discussion during the meeting.
Iftikhar Mubarik demanded of the government to establish a Task Force on Child Rights involving MPAs and civil society to make recommendations for policy and legislative changes about child rights. In her concluding remarks, Aashima highlighted the importance of government’s will to take steps for child protection and said that the civil society forums like CRM Pakistan are available to support the government in establishing a comprehensive child protection system in the province.