NO VOICE OF THEIR OWN – CHILDREN COMPLAINT CELLS


By Muhammad Javed

The Talk Shows covering the recent rape and killing of a 7-years innocent girl in Kasur, disclosed that there had been eleven similar ugly cases relating to children in the city.  The shows also mentioned about some report revealing that during the last 3 years, reportedly 11,000 children had died due to inadequate facilities in children hospitals. Recently a news item appeared headlined ‘Oxygen non-availability: four children die in Lady Reading Hospital”.  Right from the ordinary citizens to Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan and even, not seen earlier,  as I heard, the most respectable Chief of Army Staff also took notice of the incident.   The most thought provoking but naked comment was from Dr. Malik the Senior journalist, anchor and ex MD PTV in his talk show that no one has let the chance to show his presence on this occasion like Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri leading Nimaz-e-Jinaza etc.  Dr. Malik’s golden but harsh naked words to remember were that in all this everyone spoke except for the children themselves who have no voice of their own.

 

  1. This old man does not know exactly as to how many are there the Children Complaint Cells working under the Federal and Provincial Ombudsmen.  These Cells are situated not just in their Head Office Secretariats but also in Regional Offices.  As a layman, I understand that these Children Cells are working under some “liaison” or some sort of patronage from the UNISEF”.The Federal Ombudsman Cell deals with complaints “from children” who’s rights are violated by a federal ministry, department or a Federal agency.   

 

  1.  At the time of establishment of the Child Complaint Center the Advisor to the Federal Ombudsman Mr. Ejaz Qureshi said in November 2010 that the issue of child rights was neglected for years and in a country like Pakistan, where there was so much potential, children can’t be ignored.

 

  1. The children’s complaints cell of the Punjab Ombudsman’s Secretariat received 247 applications ”FROM MINORS” complaining about violation of their rights in 2010, according to the first annual report of the Cell. Holding a ceremony in a “Hotel” the Celllaunched an awareness campaign about child rights with the help of child volunteers, conducted capacity enhancement exercises for support institutions, and carried out research and analysis to identify the problems faced by children – all this sitting in a “Hotel”.    While covering the above hotel event, the newspapers published all this with a photograph of child searching papers on the road, and still hundreds and hundreds of similar live naked-photos our eyes catch daily.  What are the “beautifully” manufactured “words” showing the purpose of the above hotel event, having apparently no “material” meanings – same as our اہل زباںMQM leaders speak with flowery beautiful words which remain always as good نثر.

 

  1. Late General Zia-ul-Haq, so called dictator who gave the best system to the people viz establishment of ombudsman system and which civilians acting as dictators destroyed, came into power for 90 days.  He said later, that he promised for 90 days as he did not know the gravity of things which prolonged his stay. General Musharraf said almost the same thing.  Mr. Justice Sardar Muhammad Iqbal, the first Ombudsman Pakistan so far remaining unmatched for, after sitting on the chair for a while and assessing the gravity stated that the society in itself, in the first instance, was criminal in not protesting and struggling on injustices inflicted on them.  He said such silence of affected individuals was their criminal act towards the society.  A year or so back I read a small piece from the grandson of late Justice Sardqar Iqbal.  This 70 plus old is about 75% blind hence, despite great wish, he can’t himself but wish Justice Sardar Iqbal’s grandson goes to the grave of his grandfather and say “Grandpa, you were wrong. In our country there are even minor children who today lodge complaints with the Ombudsman Complaint Cells” putting our children to American children’s level at least in this regard.

 

  1. The issueless parents pray at Gujrat shrine ofدولے شاہthat if God gave them children, the first born will be given, for good, to the shrine. An iron ring, in the shrine, is fixed around the head of such children to stop natural physical and mental growth of their skulls making them mentally unfit for rest of the life. Such children undergo the inhuman practice of being forced to be abnormal so that they could be sent for beggary for shrine as so calledدولے شاہ کے چوہے etc.  No Children Complaint Cell in Punjab, no member of the meeting held in Ombudsman or a suo moto is known to had spoken even “a word” on this cruel for life infringement of their rights?

 

  1. Who are and where live those 247 “Minors” who filed complaints with the Punjab Ombudsman in 2010. This old man struggled for the whole life for his justified rights.  Mr. Justice Sardar Mohammad Iqbal, so far unmatched for the first Ombudsman Pakistan, many a times in writing appreciated this spirit of this conscientious civic minded old man.  The then Sindh Ombudsman in his Chamber advised me that when God had given me spirit to struggle, I should raise issues affecting community at large which, according to him, due to constrains they themselves could not initiate despite wishing to do so.  It was and till today is an unforgettable honor for me.  The written wording addressed to me by our most learned S.M. Zafar reading “Javed, I wonder how much work you single handedly do, why don’t you establish an NGO of your own?”  The purpose of mentioning about me is not just in any way to show my so called ability, but the wonder and the proud feeling this old man has on knowing how in my beloved country small children know and struggle for their rights.

 

  1. To highlighting the issues of child abuse in Pakistan, recently a consultative meeting was held at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat including Commissioner for Children Syeda Viquar-un-Nisa Hashmi, senior Adviser Wafaqi Mohtasib Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar and other prominent members of civil society.  The meeting   demanded the government to make National Commission on Rights of Children (NCRC) functional to address the issue of child abuse at all levels. The meeting discussed Zainab’s rape.  As an immediate measure, it was decided that a team led by Senator Dr. SM Zafar, including Shaheen Atiqur Rehman and senior representative of provincial Mohtasib Punjab to visit Kasur and meet Zainab’s family as well as the families of eleven other victims.

 

  1. This civic minded conscientious income-tax-paying old man has the courage to question himself, as to why the participants of this meeting more particularly representative of the “Ombudsmen child complaint cells”, did not demand what they demand today, when two years back Kasur videos case surfaced?  No children complaints cell then visited Kasur or started any known investigation.    Why only after seeing civil society, Chief Justice and COAS reacting promptly on Zainb case, the above consultative meeting woke up?  Why did the participants specifically those related to Ombudsman Complaint Cells remained silent till then?  Did any of consultative meeting participants or children complaint cells participated in the Zainab’s last ritual?  Did these so many complaint cells requested the SC. to also listen them in the case.  And last but not the least what would “now” the meeting do and achieve by visiting the Zainab family.

 

10.This old man spent his almost whole life struggling for injustices, with the result in life he hardly had to give any “رشوت“ except for perhaps only once, and got his all legitimate works done.  Most honorable Mr. S.M. Zafar under whose presence on the chair above consultative meeting was held, in writing appreciated this struggling spirit of this now old man.  I often read the contents on a Facebook page created by some individual in the name of NADRA Group.  Reading contents on this private NADRA Facebook page puts this old man into grief, sometime makes his laugh as how 98% of our people don’t have even the basic knowledge to whom a complaint can be made other than abusing the authorities or cursing Pakistan.  In such a dark environment, this old man has a great wish that before going to his grave, he could at least see one or two children and kiss their hands who, in this generally lethargic society, utilized their fundamental and civic right by filing complaints with the ombudsmen complaint cells.

 

  1. Last year an Employer chopped off  his 13-year-old’s worker hand in Sheikhupura for demanding food, salary.Eyes of this old, since then, widely opened are thirsty of reading somewhere that the so kind hearted members of the Ombudsman office consultative committee, any ombudsman grievance commission or any Ombudsman children complaint cells generally holding their meetings in hotels taking a notice visited the child, followed the case and provided due relief to the child?  If any “human” having true love to his/her children or young brothers/sisters read about any such news, missed be my eyes, could update me about it.

 

  1. This old man exactly don’t remember now minute detail about the photograph below, but does remember he copied it from the net with an item an Ombudsman Complaint Cell holding its Seminar (in a hotel?) about children rights. Have these so many Ombudsman children cells finished such scenes on our roads daily?

 

  1. This 75% blind scribbled this some two months back but could not feel courage to post it.   Now, the other day, talk shows apprised the viewers  a similar incident happened in Chichwanti, one in Jaranwala/Faisalabad.  This prompted this old man now to post it with a very logical puzzling confusion would the above “committee” formed will also visit the parents of these two innocent victims?  And more importantly during these two months no news published or through talks shows pass through the eyes of remaining 25% vision of this 70 plus if actually the above committee formed in the ombudsman office actually materialized its visit by visiting Zainab’s parents whose father about last month complained about threats?

 

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