A new report suggests pervasive sexual abuse of children in Pakistan Islamic Schools or seminaries in which young students are being abundantly raped and abused by the clerics or Mavlavis.
The issue has been covered recently by a report of The Associated Press (AP) in which Kausar Parvin, mother of a victim says that her 9 year old child was raped by a religious cleric in the Kehrore Pakka.
The report also says that “sexual abuse is a pervasive and longstanding problem at madrassas in Pakistan, from the sunbaked mud villages deep in its rural areas to the heart of its teeming cities”. It further states “but in a culture where clerics are powerful, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public”.
Based on interviews with the victims, their families, officials, aid agencies and documents of Pakistan Police, the issue is rarely prosecuted in the country.
According to two Pakistani officials who are cited on condition of anonymity due to fear from the powerful clerics, there are always sexual abuse inside madrassas and even the officials compared the situation of children sexual abuse to that of priests in Catholic Church.
The Pakistan Interior Ministry which is in charge of overseeing the seminaries has avoided to comment regarding the issue, despite repeated requests, the report notes.
At least 2 million student mostly from the poorest families who receive food and education for free are enrolled in more than 22,000 registered madrasas.
However, as stated in the report, there are thousands of unregistered madrasas like the one Parvin’s son was raped in, are operating in the country.