President Dr Arif Alvi Saturday while urging society to be compassionate to children and respect their rights, also called on the world to live in peace and stop wars that were creating havoc for children. “We must stop these wars. They are creating havoc as far as children are concerned. The entire Eiddle East – imagine what is happening to Rohingyas, imagine what is happening to the Kashmiri children, imagine what is happening throughout the Middle East. We must stop wars. The biggest burden of war is on women and on children,” the president said.
He was addressing an event held in connection with the celebration of the World Children’s Day here held by the Human Rights Ministry. Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Unicef Country Director Aida Girma-Melaku and diplomats from various countries were in attendance besides children from different parts of the country.
He said the children usually brought smiles on faces but whenever they were in trouble, they brought tears to eyes, recalling the terrorist attack at Peshawar’s Army Public School and the plight of Palestinian children. He said after two world wars, Europe agreed for no more war but the rest of the world was looking like a battlefield featuring oppression and cruelties like in the Middle East and Libya and world’s irresponsible attitude towards refugees.
He said the world has a close eye on what was happening in Afghanistan but it had turned a blind eye to the use of pellet guns by Indian forces in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The president also quoted numerous Ahadith asking the parents not to tell a lie with the children, show compassion and love to them for their better upbringing.
He said mere legislation would not suffice the protection of children’s rights until society shared the burden and took a responsibility to provide a safe atmosphere to the children. Referring to the common practice of domestic child labour, the president said those doing it on the pretext of supporting a poor child should give them care and love, equaling their own kids.
He also called for strict implementation of laws against child pornography and repeatedly advised parents to be vigilant on their children’s whereabouts to protect them against sexual exploitation besides encouraging the children to be expressive of any bad touch. Reiterating the incumbent government’s commitment to addressing malnutrition and stunting through Ehsaas and other initiatives, the president also referred to Quranic verses calling two-year mother feeding of babies as the biggest source of nutrition which was now being strongly advocated by WHO and health experts.
President Alvi called for society to be more inclusive towards disabled children by ensuring their access to infrastructure and education in civilian schools as they were equally intelligent. He said by showing compassion and ensuring welfare, disabled persons should be made a functional member of society instead of making them dependent on others.