Vanished: Pakistani children are going missing from their homes…and our minds

kidnap

After the horrifying attack on APS Peshawar, the nation was united in shock and outrage against a crime targeting children. These were the children of Army officers, but we understood that they represented all of our children. The response from the state was swift and unforgiving. The threat would be chased to every corner and put down without mercy. However now a crack is beginning to show in the state’s resolve to be the defender of our children. The children of Army officers will be avenged, but the children of the poor are being forgotten.

Reports have been flooding in about hundreds of children going missing in Pakistan, while the state has remained deaf and blind to the crisis. Kidnapping gangs have been busted in Peshawar, and one kidnapped girl from Lahore was able to make a daring escape and live to tell about it. According to Punjab’s Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, though, kidnapping is ‘blown out of proportion’.

Was the response to the APS massacre ‘blown out of proportion’? 132 children were killed in that attack, and no one will dare to say the response was ‘blown out of proportion’. Over 700 children have been kidnapped in Punjab alone, and authorities say that the response is ‘blown out of proportion’. If the proportions are different, please inform us how many poor children does it take to equal the value of an Army officer’s child?

All children have equal value no matter whether their father is a decorated war hero or a beggar. The state should not dismiss the worries of parents. They should treat the crisis as a threat to the nation’s future, which is what our children are. All of them.

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