In Pakistan where political parties are confronting each other over never-ending and useless blame game, madrasa reforms and child abuse remain grossly neglected.
A local news channel, City 42, reports that a seven-year-old boy was beaten to death allegedly by a cleric. The child was brought to Kot Khawaja Saeed Hospital and then to one of the largest hospitals of Lahore (Mayo Hospital), but he didn’t survive.
It’s really hard to believe the real cause of the death. As per reports, the child was asked to top-up the mobile balance for the cleric which he never did. Allegedly, the cleric beat the child harshly with an iron rod.
This is not the first incident of such kind, just at the start of this year, another madrasa cleric Qari Nizamuddin, beat a child to death with a stick at his seminary in Karachi.
Not a similar case but another well-known example of child abuse was the Zainab who was raped and later murdered in the city of Kasur (Punjab). This horrific case of the eight-year-old girl not only shocked entire Pakistan but the international community has also shown concern over the incident.
Last year, the Sindh Assembly had unanimously passed the Sindh Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill to protect children from physical punishment at all types of educational institutions including madrasas, and childcare institutions.
The law promises to protect children from any kind of abuse by anyone in the family, school or the workplace but unfortunately, despite various voices raised against such acts, the implementation of the said law is still uncertain.
Although there is a mass shift being witnessed among the parents for selecting government or private schools for the education of their children, however, madrasa cleric is still the widely accepted role for teaching children in most of the areas in Pakistan.