Kindness seems to be a lost cause in Pakistan, a country that celebrates humanitarians like Edhi, and worships philanthropists like Imran Khan.

Another torture case involving a child housemaid was registered in Islamabad on Saturday after a 12-year-old alleged that she was physically abused and not allowed to visit home for the past four years. In a similar in Multan, a 10-year-old housemaid ran away from her workplace and found refuge in a vocational institute in the Shalimar Colony area of Multan. On Friday a mother of nine was axed to death by her husband in Sujawal in Sindh.

While a group of brave people protested against the government’s policy to shoot stray dogs on Saturday in Lahore, maybe we are just too cruel a society to care about animal rights. This is a country where women and children are unsafe. Our morality evolving to include kindness to animals will take a long time.

Domestic abuse is happening right under the noses of our elites and power holders. In the infamous case of the torture of Tayyba, the culprits were a sitting High Court judge and his wife. These are the people who are supposed to uphold the law and people’s rights by their deeds and words. With such role models, abuse has become a norm. Wives need to be beaten, the domestic help should be put in its place and poverty has a purpose- class and gender oppression are normal.

The lack of empathy may seem like a non-issue in the face of the monsters of corruption and terrorism, but they are an underlying factor that helps perpetuate corruption and terror. If a High Court judge’s family, in their own home, did not have the capacity to adhere to principles of fairness, would proceedings in court be any different? The lack of empathy creates a cruel self-interested ruling elite, a system not based on merit but on bribery and intimidation.