If you can’t control rape, legalise prostitution

Published: February 1, 2011
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It is futile to try and understand a criminal mind.

In 2005, thirteen year old ‘S’ was sodomised by a truck driver. After 5 long years in court, ‘S’ finally saw Mola Dad, his abuser get convicted. The judge has given Mola Dad the maximum punishment.  But for this monstrous act, even the maximum means only three years mprisonment, a Rs45,000 fine and Rs200,000 compensation.

So while the victim spent five years striving for justice, the criminal would be free in three years and can resume his life.

When “success stories” are like this, what can be said about the countless incidents that never reach the police station?

The street I grew up on

Back when I was a school girl, we used to live in a safe, middle-class Karachi neighbourhood. Almost everyone knew each other. An aunty could look out of her gate, spot a random kid and hand them some money to get anday double roti from the neighbourhood bakery.

It was the kind of place where my cousins and I could run around regardless of the time or weather. All of us used to run from one house to the other, playing cricket,  badminton and pitthu. The moms would come to complain but soon the complaints turned into gossip sessions and the ladies would stand at the gate or relax in the porch, talking endlessly.

But a few years ago that very same street – so safe and serene – became the scene of a crime.  An eight-year-old was kidnapped from the street. Her mutilated, raped body was thrown back in the wee hours of the morning.

The criminal mind

I have tried to be rational and understand the rising statistics of these monstrous crime but I cannot. What kind of sick satisfaction would a man get from raping a two-year-old baby?

I fail to understand how groups of grown men can mutilate a child or tear apart a young innocent body. Perhaps it is futile to try and understand a criminal mind. But it is not just criminals who confuse me.

What the government isn’t doing

I can’t understand how our lawmakers can be so fixated over Hudood laws and turn a blind eye to the monsters whose crime is much more heinous than any adulterer.

Recently, I saw a show discussing the state of laws for child safety. As the anchor quizzed the relevant ministers on the lack of proper child right laws, they had only one thing to say “We are collaborating with our allies.”

Somehow, it seems political allies cannot agree upon what rights a child has and whether he deserves protection or not. The PPP ministers openly confessed that the legislation has been delayed simply because the government does not want any of its allies to feel that they were not taken on board.

Frustrated monsters must be fed

So, in effect our government and our leaders think that the allies should be given more priority than the children who are facing severe abuse and dying as a result. They think that this so-called democracy is more important than giving justice to families who have become victims.

Here’s a suggestion for them:

If they can’t agree to protect children, maybe they should just legalise prostitution. With sex within easy reach, maybe some of the frustrated monsters would find another outlet.

sadaf.khan

Sadaf Khan

A broadcast journalist based in Islamabad who was formerly associated with Geo News and Dunya News. She blogs at ibteda.wordpress.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.