Almost 18,000 cases of child abuse reported in Pakistan since 2013

"Since 2013, 17,862 cases of child abuse have been reported in the country — 10,620 of which involved girls, while 7,242 involved boys."
Updated 14 February 2018
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Almost 18,000 cases of child abuse reported in Pakistan since 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights on Wednesday shared alarming figures regarding the prevalence of child abuse in the country.
In a written reply submitted to Pakistan’s National Assembly, the ministry said that, since 2013, 17,862 cases of child abuse have been reported in the country — 10,620 of which involved girls, while 7,242 involved boys.
The data was compiled by the NGO Sahil. The home departments of Pakistan’s provincial governments had been asked to help with data provision, but, the ministry said, “their response is still awaited.”
The ministry’s reply to lawmakers stated that 13,267 of those cases were registered, but the courts had convicted only 112 people.
Minister for Human Rights Mumtaz Ahmad Tarar told the house that the government has ratified various international conventions for the protection of children, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in 1990 and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Preventing, Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, in 2002.
Farshad Iqbal, manager of research and communication at the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (SPARC), told Arab News: “There is a need to develop a mechanism at governmental level to gather data about child abuse cases. Only then can we effectively plan how to deal with the problem.”
Iqbal said that the numbers reported by the ministry are unlikely to reflect the true magnitude of the problem.
“We think it’s under-reported data,” he said. “But it is still an alarming figure.”


Taliban’s Ghazni assault sparks new Pak-Afghan tensions

Updated 16 min 17 sec ago
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Taliban’s Ghazni assault sparks new Pak-Afghan tensions

  • Pakistan’s Foreign Office says Afghanistan has not shared any evidence to support its recent allegations against Pakistan
  • Imran Khan’s idea of a soft border between Pakistan and Afghanistan may have suffered a big setback in the wake of the Ghazni attack

PESHAWAR: In the backdrop of the Taliban’s brazen assault on the southern city of Ghazni in Afghanistan, President Ashraf Ghani alleged that the bodies of the perpetrators had arrived in Pakistan, though Islamabad maintained that Kabul had not officially shared any information or evidence in this regard.
Soon after that, the Afghan president said in a fiery speech to a jirga in Ghazni: “I have a message for Pakistan. Dead bodies (of the Taliban) have arrived in (Pakistan). Peace cannot be forcefully imposed on Afghanistan. Where did they (Taliban) come from and why are they being treated in (Pakistani) hospitals?”
But Pakistan strongly rejected reports claiming that some Taliban fighters involved in the Ghazni attack had been offered medical treatment in its hospitals.
In the absence of any official communication through regular channels established bilaterally, such reports cannot be given any credence, said Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.
Haq Nawaz, a senior Peshawar-based security analyst, told Arab News that the newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan faced a string of daunting challenges, such as economic revival, political stability, tackling corruption, and improving relations with his country’s immediate neighbors.
However, he added that recent developments in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have stepped up violent activities, will probably constitute a much bigger predicament for the new political administration.
He recalled that Khan had mentioned in his victory speech that he wanted a European Union-style soft border with Afghanistan, claiming that the idea had seemingly received a setback after the Ghazni attack.
“The latest bout of allegations will have a negative impact on the process of reviving good relations between the two neighboring countries,” Nawaz noted.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed “deep concern” over the recent surge in violence in Afghanistan and lamented in a statement released by the military’s media wing the loss of precious lives.
Bajwa reiterated that Pakistan was not supporting terrorist activities inside Afghanistan. He added that the allegation about the movement of injured or dead terrorists from Ghazni to Pakistan was incorrect.
However, the army chief noted that there were scores of Pakistanis working in Afghanistan, and that some of them periodically fell victim to acts of terrorism along with their Afghan brothers inside Afghanistan. “Terming such victims as terrorists is unfortunate,” he maintained.
Yet, the Afghan president sought an explanation from Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership on the Ghazni attack.
“Imran Khan, you are the son of Pashtun parents. Investigate this and give me an answer. General Bajwa, you have repeatedly given me assurances over phone calls that special attention would be given to the issue of peace in Afghanistan once elections took place in Pakistan. Now give me an answer,” Ghani said while addressing a group of tribal elders attending the jirga.
Bajwa said that different factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan hiding in their sanctuaries in Afghanistan after assuming Afghan identities, were transported to Pakistan for medical help after receiving injuries.
Nawaz said the Afghan government should share relevant evidence with Pakistan in this case, arguing that using the media or social media to deal with such serious and sensitive developments can worsen the situation.
He said it was not just a statement or allegation from an ordinary official since the claim was made by a head of state, adding that both countries should settle such teething issues through dialogue and diplomatic channels.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted in its statement: “Such reports can only be viewed as malicious propaganda to vitiate the existing cooperation between the two countries.”