A 10-year-old boy was raped by a relative in Mohalla Hussainia within the jurisdiction of Hashtnagri police station in the city Thursday night. He was taken to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).

The boy told the police his relative Nadir Ali tortured and raped him. He said there was a wedding in his neighbourhood and everyone was busy in the preparations.

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Abuse of trust

Thursday night Ali, who also lived in the neighbourhood, asked him to go to his house and bring his keys. Ali followed the 10-year-old to the house and locked the door. He was armed with a pistol.

The rape survivor said Ali raped him and threatened to kill him if he told anyone. However, the 10-year-old went home and told his father about the incident.

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Hashtnagri DSP Attiq Shah said the accused was a 35-year-old man who was married and had children.

“Unfortunately, after the [boy] told his father, the latter informed other relatives,” he said. “This provided the accused the opportunity to escape along with his family before the police could arrest him.” Shah added the police raided Ali’s house but it was locked.

Reporting rape

Imran Takkar, a child rights activist, More people have started reporting rape cases in Peshawar. He said this was positive development as the focus was no longer on remaining silent in a bit to salvage “honour”.

“Once a case is reported, an effective response must follow,” he said.

Takkar said there is no active child protection system in the country. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act 2010, introduced during the Awami National Party-led provincial government, was the first attempt in the country to protect children from abuse. He said the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government had not followed in ANP’s footsteps. “The PTI government failed to provide funds to the K-P Child Protection and Welfare Commission (KPCPWC),” he said.

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Breaking the silence

Arshad Mahmood, another child right activist, said there is an ever-increasing number of child abuse that cannot be ignored.

“There is a need to take solid steps to prevent child sexual abuse,” he said. “The K-P government should take steps to establish a child protection system in the province.”

Mahmood said, “Rules of the 2010 legislations should be notified immediately and allocations should be made for this purpose in the budget.”