Sexual harassment of children is common in Pakistan's religious schools and madrasas
The campaign is slowly trying to write his name on a paper. This 11-year-old child was good at reading and had a dream of becoming a doctor. But now the school name also scares him. This is because, at the beginning of the year, the cleric of his religious school in Pakpatnam city of southern Punjab took him to the washroom and tried to sexually abuse him.
Muhammedan's aunt Shazia says such incidents with young children are common in Pakistan's religious schools. She said that she had known accused Maulvi Moeed Shah since childhood. He told that he is a habitually exploitative person. He asks the little girls to lift up their kurtas. Shazia recalled, "She has exploited two-three girls apart from boys."
He told that the Maulvi was so cruel with a girl that she broke her back. According to the AP report, on the investigation, dozens of police reports have been found in which clerics teaching in a madrasa or religious schools all over Pakistan have been accused of sexual exploitation, rape, or physical abuse. Here children from poor families of the country come to study.
More than 22 thousand madrasas are registered inside Pakistan. Where two million (2 million) children study. But there are many more religious schools which are unregistered. They are usually started by a local cleric who attracts students by promising food and free accommodation. There is no central body for clerics operating madrasas. Nor is there any central authority to investigate allegations of mistreatment by clerics.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to modernize the curriculum and make madrasas more accountable, but this has rarely happened. Police say that the problem of sexual abuse of children by clerics is common and they rarely report it. However, despite dozens of reports, one cleric has not been convicted.
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