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Friday November 26, 2021

Senate body wants removal of loopholes in child protection laws

August 12, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Special Committee on Child Protection Tuesday called for doing away with the loopholes in the existing legislation with regards to the child protection and the laws be strengthened as well as the probe process for speedy justice to the victims.

Senator Rubina Khalid, Convener of the Senate Special Committee, who chaired the committee meeting here, observed that loopholes in existing legislation with regard to child protection needed to be identified to improve and strengthen investigation process for speedy justice.

The committee was briefed about the updated statuses of child abuse incidents, which had taken place in a Mansehra seminary and Nowshera.

It was informed that the accused of Mansehra incident is in custody and his request for bail has been rejected by the court.

The panel was told that the case had been fixed for hearing on September 22, 2020. The child is with their parents. Police department arranged for the treatment and psychological counselling of the child as well.

Regarding Nowshera incident, the police department informed the committee that the child was murdered by strangulation and was later on thrown into a water tank. The officials said that two accused namely Abdar and Rafiqullah Wahab have been arrested. The committee was informed that lady doctor of DHQ Nowshera had referred the case to Peshawar for autopsy.

The committee took strong notice of referring the case to KMC, Peshawar despite the fact the DHQ had the capacity to conduct autopsy and physical examination of the dead body of the child.

Members of the committee called for strict punishment as per law and condemned those involved in heinous crime. They emphasised that investigation processes need to be improved by not only imparting specialised trainings and capacity building of the police department but also the medical side.

Convener of the committee sympathised with the parents of the children brutally murdered in the two separate incidents. She said that such heinous crimes can only be stopped by taking stern action against the culprits. She said that the Parliament can legislate in this regard, however the lacunas have to be identified by the executing agencies. She said that Parliament can legislate and enact more concrete laws as such incidents are a crime against humanity.

The committee also reviewed the steps taken by the FIA to curb child pornography. Members of the committee were of the view that individuals and groups involved in such immoral activities have international links. It was informed that the FIA has got the capability of accessing profiles of those individuals and groups involved in uploading and downloading pornographic material.