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Friday Jan 12 2018

Celebrities meet Sindh Assembly deputy speaker, seek justice for child abuse tragedies

Artist fraternity speaks to media outside Sindh Assembly, Karachi

KARACHI: The artist fraternity came together yet again on Friday to protest against the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old minor girl in Kasur and demand laws and justice to prevent such tragedies in future.

Celebrities Ayesha Omar, Nadia Hussain, Faysal Qureshi and other members of the civil society met with Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza at the Sindh Assembly, where they asked questions regarding the laws present in the country to ensure justice in child sexual abuse cases.

Ayesha Omar, speaking to media outside the Sindh Assembly, said the laws exist in such cases but are rarely implemented.

“In many such cases evidence exists, but often families don’t pursue justice because they are ashamed and want to [save face]. We have to figure out a way to convince the victims’ families not to feel embarrassed and to educate their children about sexual abuse,” she urged.

To deal with cases such as Zainab’s rape and murder, the actress called for a need for speedy trials to ensure justice for the victims and hand out exemplary punishment to the culprits.

“We need speedy trials in special cases such as child sexual abuse to ensure justice,” she demanded.

Nadia Hussain called on the entire nation to unite for justice. “We are standing here for the poor. Laws will be made when the nation comes together,” she stressed.

Faysal Qureshi said the people need to ensure laws are implemented to deter such heinous crimes.

“This is not the time to be afraid. We need results. Children are vulnerable and weak, how can they escape from an adult who wants to harm them,” he said.

The artists also said they would approach the Chief Justice of Pakistan to ensure implementation of laws to prevent child abuse. 

On Thursday, actress Mahira Khan called upon those in power to act and deliver justice not only to Zainab but to all those before her as well.

“Those that are sitting in power it is their responsibility to bring justice. It is their responsibility to not just find the man who did this to Zainab, but to all the other cases before that,” she demanded.

Mahira also stressed on the importance of creating awareness about abuse. There was a need to change the curriculum and for the government to have a budget in which abuse is discussed in schools, she reiterated. 

The actress also announced to give free talks on the subject of child abuse.