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Society that doesn't care for its children

What name should one give a society that doesn't care for its children, even though its advertisements keep calling them "our future" and "the parents of tomorrow"? Decadent? Hardly. There are many dynamic societies, and Pakistan is one of them, in which children are regularly abused for purposes of commerce or sex. Criminal? Barely. There are many societies that are fairly egalitarian and where the rule of law is (largely) followed, regardless of a person's position (though Pakistan is not one of them). And there are criminal societies that look after their children nevertheless.
Should one call it a society in decline? Frankly, you cannot honestly say that abuse of children is one of the signs of a society in decline, for if it were, many western societies would have gone by now. As an example, you just have to look at the child pornography trade on the Internet or the illegal sale and purchase of organs for transplants from children of Third World countries who have either been kidnapped or whose parents have had to sell their kidneys out of sheer poverty. Or you have to look at societies, particularly American, where criminal syndicates regularly lure children into drug use and abuse out of sheer greed. The fact that these syndicates still exist and continue to ply their vile trade stands testimony to the fact that powerful countries like the USA and the UK don't try hard enough to stop them, only enough to stop people from saying that they are not trying hard enough to stop them.
So what should one call countries that allow the abuse of children by ignoring the crime? Immoral and amoral. I believe that these two words fit such societies, be they decadent or dynamic, criminal or lawful, developed or underdeveloped. It is only in societies that are highly immoral that children are regularly abused, which includes societies east and west, north and south. Worse, where this neglect reaches proportions where the government is either ignorant of what is going on or is overwhelmed by other problems and the elite of that society becomes so desensitised and dehumanised that even when it reads or hears about cases of child abuse the cries of the children don't reach them, then that society has descended from immorality into amorality, which is the total lack of morality, good or bad. Thus where any sense of morality is absent, that society feels no sense of shame or outrage, because it has no sense of good or bad and cannot distinguish between right or wrong.
On May 21, 2006, "The Sunday Times" of London broke the heartrending story by Marie Colvin about the kidnapping of Christian children by a certain Mr Gul Khan of Pakistan, who is described as "a wealthy Islamic militant and leading member of Jamaat ud Daawa (JUD), a group linked to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network." This Gul Khan has been kidnapping Christian boys (later it was discovered that Christian girls were being kidnapped too) and selling them into slavery, beggary or into a life of menial domestic work in feudal households. JUD, it seems, is the banned Lashkar-e-Tyaba's latest incarnation, which did sterling work in the earthquake and won the sympathy of the local populace. But if this is one of the ways by which it finances its nefarious activities, kidnapping and selling children, be they of any religion or nationality, then all one can say is that it took advantage of the earthquake tragedy for tactical reasons to find acceptance and is actually beyond the pale.
Anyway, two Christian missionaries, one of them an American evangelist who runs a charity called "Help Pakistani Children", saw a photograph in Quetta of 20 boys who were up for sale. One of the boys was 10-year old Akash Aziz, who was kidnapped from his village in the Punjab while he was playing "cops and robbers" with other boys. The Pakistani missionary "first saw Akash in a photograph among those of 20 boys who were being touted for sale in Quetta - renowned as a smugglers' paradise. He was just another black market commodity along with guns, grenades and hashish. An elaborate sting was conceived. The Pakistani missionary would pose as a Lahore businessman named Amir seeking boys to use as beggars who would give their cash to him." Amir first bought three boys for $5,000. But Gul Khan wanted $28,500 for the whole lot and gave Amir two months to come up with the money. He wouldn't mind if the deadline was missed, though: he would sell them for their organs.
The missionaries enlisted the help of police, which rightly insisted that the operation be filmed. Anyway, after much to-ing and fro-ing and heart stopping moments when the operation could have come unstuck, all 20 boys were freed after the money was paid to Gul Khan in Muridke. They had been kept in a small room for months, underfed and regularly beaten and abused. They were bags of bones, huddled together like animals. Marie Colvin accompanied the freed boys to their families, which had given them up for dead and could not believe that they were still alive. The video is with "The Sunday Times" as well as with our police. It remains to be seen what we do to not only put Gul Khan away for good but also to smash all such operations.
This is what we have come to: people, who are only borderline human belonging to organisations flush with money and bristling with the most modern weaponry, are going about posing as custodians and interpreters of Islam. Their interpretations are completely un-Islamic, indeed, completely uncivilised and against any religion or belief. No religion sanctions kidnapping, sale and abuse of children of any race, colour or creed. But, somehow, our clerics have managed to successfully din it into the minds of our illiterate as well as our many dysfunctional educated people that Christians (and Jews) are "infidels", so kidnapping their children for some cause is fine. The fact is: you cannot do this even to the children of infidels. And the argument that the Christians, Jews and Hindus have killed, orphaned and made homeless and stateless millions of our Muslim children in Kashmir, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere does not mean that we can do the same to their children. If we descend down to their level, how then are we to distinguish ourselves as superior to these people?
Isn't it a matter of great shame that it took a British newspaper and an American journalist to uncover Gul Khan's criminal gang? He was operating brazenly and without compunction, was accompanied by bodyguards armed with Kalashnikovs, went around in expensive vehicles and advertised the kidnapped boys in photographs that were available to prospective buyers in a major city like Quetta. The question arises: what were the police in the Christian village from which the boys were being kidnapped and also where Gul Khan was operating out of doing? What were the Nazim and his local government doing? Surely they should have known, for if they didn't then they are so incompetent that they are not worth the expenditure that we incur on them. If they were, then one is forced to suspect complicity. Where were our many governments, our famous NGOs, our deafening human rights orchestra, our police, our media and civil society? Is it not time that we woke up and stopped this inhumanity, especially against our religious minorities?
Gul Khan and people of his ilk, those who do business with him and use the money he earns to push causes that they claim to be Islamic, are not Muslims just because they say they are or were born into Muslim families. They are the real infidels and workers of Satan who give Islam, Muslims and Pakistan a bad name. We have no end of NGOs, many of which do good work, but, as Tariq Ali recently said, they have hijacked civil society. The government can do all it can, and so can the NGOs, but unless a true civil society emerges out of the ruins of our nationhood and confused ideology, it will not be enough. And the responsibility for the emergence of civil society lies squarely on the shoulders of the well off and educated, not in conjunction with NGOs with their specific agendas but in conjunction with the media, of which there has been a proliferation after 1999.