Citizens demand justice and accountability
November 5, 2020
Revive Sindh Information Commission
November 17, 2020

Make ZARRA operational …   PLEEEEEAZE.

Why Pakistani children may NEVER be protected in a system that is designed only to please foreign agencies such as UN and UNICEF. Neither the HR Ministry nor the Commissions and Authorities are willing to read, much less implement their own laws.

So here is a summary of what the Zainab Bill says and why ZARRA agency ought to have been established 8 months back. It addresses key requirements of Zainab bill and the status of what we have done so far such as:

  • Why is ZARRA agency required to be established?
  • Who does the ZARRA agency consist of?
  • What are the scores of functions to be defined, performed, managed, and controlled by ZARRA agency?

Citizens ought not to be fooled by glib talking officials. They need to read and understand how the children have been let down – while the officials and organisations consume heavy budgets and perks at the tax payer’s expense.

  What exactly does the Zainab Act say?


How we negated the Zainab Act
1. “ZARRA” means Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency established under this Act of Missing and Abducted Children.


No such Agency appointed so far
2. The Government shall, by notification in the official Gazette, establish Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA) of missing and abducted children. No notification issued.
  The ZARRA shall consist of a Director General who shall be appointed by the Prime Minister after public advertisement in such manner and in such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by Ministry of Human Rights.


No DG appointed by the PM
  Other officers and employees of ZAARA shall be appointed by the Director General in consultation with Ministry of Human Rights in such manner and on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed by rules.


No officers and employees appointed as the DG is not appointed
  The management staff of ZARRA shall be suitably equipped with skills of managing databases, conducting planning and monitoring of programs, analyzing data, preparing reports and coordinating with all other offices.


The management of ZAARA does NOT EXIST, leave aside skills.
  Director General, officers and employees deemed to be public servants


DG, Officers and employees do not exist
  Standard operating procedures (SOPs) shall be devised to ensure the safety and protection in the hands of authorities of the recovered missing or abducted child. No SOP devised for safety or protection of missing children
  All helplines including helpline 1099 shall forward to ZARRA all complaints relevant to the mandate of ZARRA.


No such thing happening. 1099 is not a missing child but a legal aid Helpline.
  The administration of the ZARRA shall vest in the Director General.


Not held with anyone as ZAARA is not there
  The following shall be powers and functions of ZARRA that shall be performed under the administration of the Director General, namely:—


a. to activate Zainab alerts, when there is a missing or abducted child, which shall include information on the physical characteristics of the missing or abducted child as well as any other data that would help in the child’s identification, so as to inform the public at large and all concerned agencies to whom these alerts shall be issued;


Completely missing
b. to coordinate with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for issuance of Zainab alert SMSs, MMSs and with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for broadcast/ tickers on television channels and announcements on radio stations and alerts on social media as well as postings on relevant websites or online, print media or any other available medium to report abductions;


Completely missing
c. to define procedures for how, when, with what frequency and in which geographical territory the missing or abducted child alert shall be raised; No such procedures defined
d. to provide nation-wide telephonic toll free hotline number 1099 or such other number where any person may report a missing or abducted child and such number may be used by any member of public who has any information relating to the missing or abducted child; No nationwide free hotline for missing children in Pakistan. 1099 is a legal-aid helpline – and is in most events non responsive.
e. to maintain online data base both in ZARRA and Division concerned and of every reported incident of a missing or abducted child, the actions taken, the current status of the case and its final outcome. This database shall be monitored for accuracy and shall be kept updated at all times.


No website and no database in existence. Pakistan has to shamefully be dependent on foreign agencies or NGOs for whatever they may collect or report.
f. The database shall cover all territories of Pakistan and shall be accessible to public on ZARRA website in English and in Urdu;


Same as above.

No website, No database.

g to define procedures for who, how and when an incident of missing or abducted child shall be brought on to the ZARRA database. No procedures defined as ZARRA does not exist.
h. National Commission on Rights of Child and Division concerned shall also have the responsibility to maintain a database. National Commission on Rights of Child ALSO has no website and no database.
i. To maintain proper record for each case,


No such records being kept
j. coordinate any information on missing children with local law enforcement agencies,


No such function being performed as ZARRA does NOT exist
k. detect criminal patterns in a geographical area,


No such function being performed as ZARRA does NOT exist
l. issue monthly public reports on missing and abducted children on its website,


Not a single report so far as ZARRA does NOT exist
m. introduce procedures and key performance indicators that will improve and measure the effectiveness of ZARRA;


No KPIs established as ZARRA does NOT exist
n. to ensure that the concerned stakeholders perform their duties in accordance with the prescribed rules;


Can not be ensured as ZARRA does NOT exist
o. to initiate, refer or take action for proceeding against any noncooperation or non-compliance by any organization or stakeholder in accordance with the rules as may be prescribed under this Act; Not done so far as ZARRA does NOT exist
p. to ensure that full real-time information is being received in ZARRA office; There is no ZAARA office
q. to provide such administrative arrangements as may be necessary and appropriate to secure the safe return of any such child;


No arrangements for secure return of a child defined as ZARRA does not exist. A huge mess was made in the Arzoo case because of this reason.
r. The police station where a case of missing or abducted child is reported shall, immediately and not later than two hours after the complaint is lodged, through any available means of communication call, fax, electronic email or ZARRA mobile application, inform the ZARRA of the missing child incident and keep providing latest status of the case and all available details on daily basis. The missing or abducted child database shall be shared on online database, maintained by the ZARRA office in accordance with the prescribed rules. The police officer shall ensure that the required information in Schedule to this Act, is made part of the complaint.



ZARRA not being there, the Police has no one to report to.

s. In case ZARRA office receives a direct complaint of a missing or abducted child, it shall coordinate immediately with the local police station and other ZARRA offices to ensure all actions relating to ZARRA are initiated. This includes registering of a complaint at the concerned police station, any other federal or provincial agency, authority or department that ZARRA may consider necessary in this regard on behalf of the complainant.


No such function being performed as ZARRA offices DO NOT EXIST.