Pakistan continues to suffer from mounting cases of abuse, kidnapping, rape, and killing of women and children. There is no end in sight. May it be the case of the rape, killing and dissolving in acid of 100 children in Lahore, brutal rape and murder of seven year old Zainab in Kasur or the abduction, gang rape and stoning to death of the 6 year old girl Marva in Karachi, there are three things that stand out most conspicuously common in all of them. These are; a. None of these cases accessed or reported to any of the plethora of confusing Helplines that exist in the country today; b. The FIRs were not registered immediately, but after a gap of one or more days; c. The Police search, rescue and recovery operations were not started immediately.
The three faults identified above continue to exist even today and the criminals continue to take their full advantage. Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act, passed on March 24, 2020 was intended to remove precisely these three shortcomings. However, ironically, the Federal Cabinet and the HR Ministry have failed to form and notify the ZARRA Agency till today.
The Federal Cabinet and the HR Ministry are guilty of this negligence, for which they ought to be held accountable. ZARRA Agency as required by the Zainab Act needs to be notified immediately. A single nation-wide Helpline for all emergencies needs to be created within days and not months. The National Commission for the Rights of Child needs to start playing an active role in publicly demanding and pushing the government for implementation of the Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act.