Over 200 sexual abuse cases reported in Karachi in 2022
Over 200 sexual abuse cases have been reported in Karachi this year. The Karachi police statistics show that in eight of the 216 abuse cases, the victims were aged until five years, forty were aged between 6 and 10, thirty-eight between 15 and 18, and ninety-five over 18.
There has also been a rise of minors murder after rape. “In the last one year, cases of rape-murder have increased considerably. Of much concern is the number of minor boys and girls who are murdered after being raped,” noted Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed.
War Against Rape (WAR), a non-governmental organisation focusing on such incidents revealed a pattern. WAR’s findings on this year’s sexual violence cases until July show that in the 42 cases investigated, 27 (64%) survivors were children under 18 years.
The most vulnerable age group was said to be 5-11 years (36%), followed by 12-17 years (29%). The average age was 14 years in all cases investigated, with the minimum age of survivors being five years.
Thirty-eight (90%) cases were reported of women and female children. In terms of nature of the assault, 64% of the cases were of rape, 18% of gang rape, 12% of incest and 6% of sexual assault.
District West has been the red-alert zone, indicating the highest incidence of sexual violence at 47%, followed by District East (21%), District Korangi (14%), the Malir and South districts (8% each), and the Keamari and Central districts (1% each).
“First of all, the government should adopt and expand life skills-based education, also known as comprehensive sexuality education, across Pakistan,” WAR programme officer Sheraz Ahmed told a news agency.
“They should also expand training programmes for parents and teachers to make children aware of the good touch and the bad touch, or the self-protection knowledge. You can’t trust anyone. Close relatives are also found involved in some of these cases.”
He said parents should have a good relationship with their children to train them on sensing the bad touches. “If the parents are going somewhere, they don’t need to leave their children alone at home,” he pointed out. “But if they’re forced to leave their children home alone, they should lock the door from the outside after taking all the precautionary measures like switching off the gas, etc.”
He seemed unhappy with the government’s approach. He stressed the need for the effective implementation of the Zainab Alert app. “Children will be safeguarded when the state’s approach will be proactive.”
He said that the police should also play their role because these cases are not only occurring inside homes but also out on the streets and on empty plots, adding that the police should take the missing cases seriously.
He lamented that in some cases, police negligence or delay is found to be the cause of the culprits succeeding in their brutal acts, and since close relatives and neighbors are involved, they kill the victims to protect their identities and avoid being arrested.
Separate breastfeeding room set up at Adiala jail
For the first time, the Adiala administration in Rawalpindi has made arrangements as per international standards to meet the nutritional needs of the newborns of female prisoners.
In this regard, a separate ‘feeding room’ has been set up for breastfeeding of infants. A heating room has also been arranged to keep the newborns safe from the cold. Further, a DVD player and an LED have also been installed in the jail to entertain the children, enabling them to watch cartoons of their choice.
Presently, 26 newborn babies are in Adiala jail with their mothers who are serving their terms for various crimes. According to the Punjab Prison Rules, 467ml of milk, 29gm of sugar and 117gm of rice are being given daily to each newborn baby while 467ml of pure milk is being provided to the mothers who are breastfeeding their children to meet their nutritional needs.
Additionally, welfare organizations are providing snacks, biscuits, candies, fruits and other essential items are being provided for all the children who do not drink mother’s milk. The infants and mothers were also given warm clothes, jerseys, caps, jackets and sweaters and blankets and quilts to help them stay warm during the winters. A kindergarten school has also been established in the prison where school-going children can study along with sports.
The barracks for women having newborns are completely separate from the barracks of general prisoners in the women’s wards and the entry of male prison officials is also prohibited.
Six Indian fishermen held for crossing territorial waters
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on Monday apprehended six Indian fishermen on charges of fishing illegally within the territorial waters of Pakistan, officials said.
They added that the PMSA had also seized their boat. The held fishermen were handed over to the custody of the Docks police for further legal action.
Docks SHO Parvez Ali Solangi told Dawn that the six Indian fishermen had been booked under the Foreigners Act and they would likely be presented before a court concerned for remand.
25 security checkpoints set up in Islamabad over threats
In light of growing security concerns, Islamabad police issued a “special” plan that introduces 25 temporary checkposts in the city and requires citizens and foreigners to carry their identification documents with them.
According to the security plan, video surveillance will be done of entry points of the Red Zone, traffic hotspots, and metro bus passengers. Police also notified that persons who employ unregistered local or foreign workers would also be investigated.
This plan has been devised as Pakistan continues to see a rise in terror incidents in recent days, particularly after the militant Tehereek-i-Taliban Pakistan led a number of attacks in different parts of the country.
Police have appealed to citizens to inform authorities of any unusual activity on the 15-helpline.
The US embassy in Islamabad has issued a security alert prohibiting its staff from visiting the city’s Marriott Hotel due to concerns of a “possible attack”. A similar security alert was issued by Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom asking their citizens to limit their movement in Pakistan.