This is apropos to news of four minor sisters, aged between six and one who were recently abandoned by their mother. As a Pakistani citizen, one would believe that we don’t feel shock while reading about such incidents. Be it the killing of two children, or an eight month old, by a mother, we are left without any bad taste in our mouths. The tragedy lies not in the abandonment and the killing but in the fact that a people can become so sensitized and a state can let such things happen!

Ever since Pakistan came into being, sex selective abortions and female feticide, has been a thorn in the country’s cultural and moral norms, with many organizations and institutions working diligently for equal status for women nothing has changed the concept. Whilst some change has been observed, Pakistan still ranks among the top five countries where the practices of female feticide, infanticide, honor killing, early child marriages and sexual harassment are l carried out.

The alarming question is the welfare of these girls, who after being abandoned by their mother, with a drug addict father, are now left at the mercy of undoubtedly kind strangers at Edhi Homes. Just like any responsible citizen I feel it’s high time that the government of Pakistan worked towards promotion of ‘Adoption Laws’ and foster homes that can be duly monitored, as is common in the developed countries. Owing to deep rooted misconceptions, the idea of adoption, which is often regarded as a taboo, leaves us with very little option for these children. Many people are unaware of the significance of adoption in Islam and deem it un-Islamic.

According to the ‘Pakistan Adoption Group’- an online group of people from around the world, who are working towards adopting children from Pakistan, “there are often misconceptions about the role of adoption in Islam? The fact is that the Islamic form of ‘adoption’ is called Kafâla, which literally means sponsorship but comes from the root word meaning ‘to feed.’ It is best translated as ‘foster parenting.’ Algerian family law defines the concept as “Kafala, or legal fostering, is the promise to undertake without payment the upkeep, education and protection of a minor, in the same way as a father would do for his son”.

Additionally, while the existence and work of these shelter homes is laudable; as responsible citizens, do we not have a moral obligation to provide a nurturing and secure environment for our future generations? It’s my sincere request to the government of Pakistan to take notice of such incidences and take due action for the betterment of these girls as it’s the generations to come that will be the flag barriers of the nation.

AMNA BILLOO,

Karachi, March 10.