‘2412 women, children kidnapped across country in 2005’
Islamabad, January 04 2006: During 2005, an overwhelming 2412 women and children were kidnapped from rural and urban locations across Pakistan, which shows a decrease as compared to the previous year.
According to a report issued here Tuesday by Madadgar – a joint venture of Unicef and Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) – of the total persons kidnapped 1211 were women, 365 boys and 836 were girls. An additional 173 cases of attempted kidnapping were reported, while 466 kidnapped individuals were successfully recovered, bringing the grand total to 3051. The total figure for 2005 shows decrease from 2004 when Madadgaar reported a total of 2906 kidnappings.
Despite the enormity of these national statistics, Madadgaar cautions that these figures merely represent a fraction of the actual crime s committed against the nation’s most vulnerable quarters.
The database unit of Karachi’s Madadgaar Help Line has generated these national statistics through monitoring 26 English, Urdu and Sindhi newspapers from across the country during the past year. Madadgaar is Pakistan’s first telephonic and walk-in client referral service provider for children and women suffering from violence and abuse. The project is a joint venture of the NGO Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) and UNICEF. It has been serving the marginalized survivors of abuse since May of 2001.
A provincial breakup of the compiled data reveals that 1489 cases were reported in the Punjab, 801in Sindh, 80 in the NWFP and 42 in Balochistan. In Lahore alone a reported 514 kidnappings were committed. Meanwhile 379 kidnappings were reported in Karachi, 120 from Hyderabad, 98 from Multan, 95 from Islamabad, 79 from Khairpur, 74 from Sarghoda, 66 from Sukkur, 44 from Peshawar and 32 from Quetta.
As per Madadgaar’s annual findings in a majority of the cases, the victim knew the alleged perpetrators of the crime. In 367cases the alleged perpetrator was an acquaintance of the victim, 101 were relatives or family members, 81 neighbors, 24 friends and just 75 were mentioned as total strangers while 47 were dacoits.
According to the data 203 kidnapping cases occurred in January, 160 in February, 185 in March, 229 in April, 218 in May, 282 in June, 253 in July, 195 in August, 267 in September, 138 in October, 144 in November and 138 in the month of December.
Out of the 2412 kidnapping cases, the newspaper reports indicated that First Information Reports were lodged in 2131 cases. The law enforcement authorities are urged to ably assist aggrieved families in search and recovery for kidnapped individuals. In 27 cases policemen were themselves cited to be the alleged kidnappers. Thorough and timely investigations are urgently required in all kidnapping cases. Often with the passage of time, kidnapped individuals face the further threat of murder at the hands of their captors. Of the 466 safely recovered individuals 178 were women, 132 girls and 156 boys.
Reflecting upon the grim statistics, the Madadgaar Help Line urges the concerned authorities to develop effective mechanisms to curb these crimes and hold accountable all perpetrators. Adequate protections systems for women and children must be established to ensure that gross human rights violations are adequately redressed and challenged.
Source: Pakistan Observer