Islamabad, 4 January 2017: A large number of civil society activists and organizations have strongly condemned the torture of a minor girl employed by a serving judge and also the so-called “resolution” (sic) of the court case against the judge and his spouse.
This case has yet again highlighted the glaring ills of Pakistani society and its justice administration system. We had not yet forgotten the Kasur children’s video atrocity when we are now confronted with a serving judge breaking several laws of the land – but walking away scot-free, after reaching a so-called “compromise” and “forgiveness” agreement with the girl child’s parents, through legal stamped affidavits.
The compromise and forgiveness loophole, so expeditiously exploited by the judge and his spouse, is a convenient tool, employed mostly against the poor and downtrodden by the rich and powerful in Pakistan, as in this case.
We particularly condemn the following illegal acts of commission and omission by individuals and by State organs in this case:
We stand in empathy and solidarity with the brave survivor girl child, and in support of Advocate Asma Jahangir’s intention to petition the Supreme Court of Pakistan. We reiterate our longstanding demands that the laws on child protection and against domestic child labour be enacted at the federal and provincial levels, and strengthened in Punjab – along with their strict enforcement and implementation; that child protection bureaus be set up all over Pakistan – and strengthened in Punjab; that national and provincial policies be formulated for child protection and development – not to return recovered children back to their parents who pledge and sell them into modern day slavery (aka bonded labour); and that such recovered survivors be provided not just physical shelter and care, but also psychological rehabilitation to prevent them becoming life-long victims.
Above all, we hold serving judges to a much higher standard than anyone else in the land – they must uphold the Constitution, the law, morality and humanity in both their public and private lives. There must be no "forgiveness" and no "compromise" -- the State must become the girl child's guardian (wali) and complainant in the case. The SCP is respectfully requested to urgently take suo moto notice of this case.
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Endorsed by civil society: