Saturday, 23 January 2016

Plight of children in Pakistan, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Plight of children in Pakistan, Dr Shabir Choudhry 23 January 2016

When kids are killed as a result of terrorism, people of Pakistan and government appears to be very upset and get united. Immediately government and army announce strong measures to punish the culprits; and set up military courts, and put National Action Plan in motion.

However, when kids die as a result of hunger, lack of medicine and medical treatment, no one is shocked. No one seems to be seriously concerned when kids are kidnapped; and are forced in to prostitution and begging.

In one city of Pakistan, Karachi, in 2015 one research revealed that 2160 children under the age of 18 were kidnapped which include more than 500 girls. These unfortunate children will be forced in to industries of child labour, sex and begging; and sad thing is people in position of power support these industries. 1

Although Pakistani establishment ask you to sing songs about their generosity that they will teach children of enemies; but bitter fact is that more than 25 million children don’t go to schools in Pakistan. In the entire world, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children; and Pakistan, a nuclear country with 7th largest army, in education is second with 25 million out-of-school children.

There is alarming decline in standard of education. In Pakistan there are:

• 55,000 primary schools have no drinking water (40 percent of the total);
• 55,000 primary schools have no toilet facilities;
• More than 82,000 primary schools have no electricity (60 percent of the total).
• 55,000 primary schools have no boundary walls.
• One in ten children in the world who are not in primary schools lives in Pakistan.
• 26 countries are poorer than Pakistan but send more children to schools.
• Only one in three Pakistani women in rural areas can read.
• Only 50 percent of Pakistani school children can read a sentence. 2

Despite this depressing record in the field of education, Pakistani establishment is more interested in spending bulk of the available resources on defence related matters; and urge the Pakistani nation to sing emotional songs like ‘dushman kay bachoon ko paraaingey’ ( We will teach children of enemy).

My request to the concerned authorities is to first pay attention to the welfare of Pakistani children; and formulate policies which can help children to become responsible citizens of Pakistan.

1/ Talat Hussain, Naya Pakistan, Geo TV, 23 January 2016
2/ Dr Farrukh Saleem, The News, 23 February 2014

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