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Dear Government – what about other Awais Ali Shahs? – by Hussain Anwar

Last month, two tragic incidents shocked the nation. The abduction of CJ Sindh high court’s son and target killing of famous Qawaal Amjad Sabri again raised questions on the ongoing Karachi operation.

After the incidents, the law enforcement agencies came into action and country’s political and military elite assured the chief justice of full cooperation. Intelligence agencies put their heads together and after a month, people when turned on their TV sets, they saw the pictures of CJ kissing his son who was rescued in a successful army operation in TANAK, Waziristan. Print and electronic media left no stone unturned to praise the efforts by concerned departments and especially by army chief for the successful rescue operation.

There is no doubt that it was necessary to act on this particular case as if judiciary will not be safe from this threat, unbiased decisions would not be possible. We have seen in the past that terrorist organizations threatened the judges to kill or abduct their children in case of decision against them.

However, there is a question, and it must also be addressed at the same time. What about the other thousands of children which were also kidnapped from different areas in recent past years and till now they have not returned. Kidnapping for ransom is an easy way for different terrorist organizations and dacoits to bring cash as per their demand. In mostly cases, parent even don’t even try to contact the police and give the money just because of the fear that police involvement will minimize the chances of safe return of their loved ones.

The government should act on this issue as child of an ordinary man is as important as Awais Ali Shah and we have seen parents, wandering in police station and courts because they don’t have enough powerful resources and precisely we have to say – they don’t have the pride and post like CJ so that their children’s kidnapping cases could receive the similar attention.

In Lahore, some past days are proved to be horrific, if we talk about the kidnappings. Just in some weeks, three hundred children have been kidnapped. People blocked the roads, media tried turn the attention of government but situation is gradually through hands and police is relying on their delay tactics e.g. we have tightened the security at exit points and police has arrested some suspects. It is completely rubbish; in reality, they lack the motivation and courage to solve these cases.

Parent of abducted children always complain that police did not listen to them or not showing some efforts to get back their children.

Children are raped and their bodies usually found in nearby wastage digs, some kidnappers did not dare to kill the detainee after receiving the required money just because of the fear that freed person can give away their details.

The investigation of these cases need careful analysis, data collection and intelligence based targeted operation but here the police is busy on VVIP protocols, filling pockets on road checks and just lodging the FIRs to lose the burden from their shoulders.

Especially Punjab police should be asked that some weeks ago, billion of rupees were spent on new dolphin force for betterment of law and order, Is this the fruit of such heavy investment that 300 children are abducted in some weeks.

Police is taking the note that most of the missing children are those, who left home due to social reasons, and after some days, children usually come back but parents in the mean time did not wait for the return and start protesting against government. Police also admits that there are some rackets, operating in the provincial capital, they abduct the children and sent them to gulf countries for work as camel jockey and also sold to some terrorist organization.

Indeed, in our country the only fault of these 300 children is- there are not the sons of any CJ so they will not enjoy the privilege to be released after the ISI lead operation.

The greater and basic role and failure here is of civilian governments. The world has moved from management to micro management but here the police culture is still of pre partition era where you have to bribe the local Thanidaar (SHO) to get your work done.

Investigation in kidnapping cases can’t be done with limited provincial and national territorial limits and I have a suggestion on this issue.

The government should establish a special wing in every provincial police structure for kidnapping cases where specialist personals would be employed and in case, an FIR is lodged of child kidnapping, it would be online and national ID will be used against the case. Provincial police shall be given one week to try their best for the safe rescue and if they fail to solve, the case would automatically be sent to federal government. At centre, a committee under the supervision of any director level officer of interior ministry with representations from all intelligence and armed agencies would address unsolved cases. The committee will work on each and every case and all the concerned agencies will be asked to provide each other relative information, in the mean time, the parents can ask for information using the national id for case. The case will not be closed until the central committee would not give the final word to the parents in written.

We proud to be only Muslim nuclear power and holder of world 7th largest army but all this is in vain when we see mothers with eyes, full of tear, appealing on media for recovery of their children. Dear government, every child is Awais Ali Shah and wants equal attention.