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This is apropos a Business Recorder oped “Child kidnapping” carried by the newspaper last Saturday. This crime is defined as child kidnapping or abduction by stranger. Of course, this crime or offense is different from parental child abduction.

Kidnapping or abducting child by stranger or strangers is an offense that takes place because the offender wants ransom from parents for, among other things, child labour or slavery and the sexual abuse of the minor. This crime attracts various sections, including Sections 361 and 363, of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Be that as it may, the writer, Zia Ul Islam Zuberi, deserves a lot of praise for highlighting a societal issue of very high import. No doubt, his was a heart-rending column.

According to him, for example, “the most heinous crime you can think of is kidnapping a child. With just one act, that for the kidnapper is nothing more than a step towards making some easy money, a child’s entire world is turned on its head. The love and care, the pampering and pleasing of whims and fancies is suddenly replaced with brute force, harsh words and physical abuse.”

I completely agree with the writer. The situation underscores the need for taking all the required steps aimed at dealing with the challenge of child kidnapping in the country in an effective manner. The rising incidents of kidnapping and abduction for ransom not only by ordinary criminals but even by terrorists necessitate the framing of more stringent laws. In my view, death for kidnapping for ransom will not be outrageous.

Huma Khawar

Karachi

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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