Appalling as it may be to confront as a reality, children are raped with disturbing frequency in Pakistan. Hard accurate data is difficult to obtain and the media has to be relied on for reports of child rape, but two have been reported from Lahore recently. The majority of reports of children being raped relate to girls, but the rape of boys is also occasionally reported. All attacks on children such as rape are inexcusable and unpardonable, but the severity of some of them stands out for their barbarism. A five-year-old girl was raped, probably by several men, and then dumped outside the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore. She is now reported to be out of critical condition but her life in the future is forever going to be blighted by what has been done to her. She may never marry, or have children, and have to exist under the shadow of what was done to her for as long as she lives.
The provincial law minister, Rana Sanaullah, has vowed that those who committed the crime will be apprehended and punished. Five men have been arrested in the case of the rape of an eight-year-old. It is almost impossible to imagine what led five men to collectively rape an eight-year-old. It would have to have been a collaborative effort, the men acting in concert and in full knowledge of what they were doing. It appears that at no point did the moral compass of any of them trigger an alert, suggest that this was a heinous crime and that they should stop immediately. Whatever sense of right and wrong they may have been taught themselves as children seems to have had vanished without trace. Two children have been robbed of their innocence, which no punishment will ever restore. Shocking, but nowhere near as shocking as the lack of sustained public outrage at a crime that has become almost commonplace.