Support rather than poke fun

The Dua Zehra case showed an ugly face of society

The terrifying news of a 14-year-old girl who went missing on 16th April after she went out of her house to throw garbage sparked a massive outcry in the country. Be it electronic, print or on social media, everyone in their domain tried to raise the issue and help Dua’s parents in this difficult time.

It was because of these efforts the incident got the attention of the LEAs. For almost 10 days, till the news broke out that the girl had left the home of her own will and married a boy from Lahore, everyone on social media showed sympathy for the girl and her parents, prayed for them and hoped for her safe recovery.

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But since then, the opinion of social media users started to divide. And, the very next day when the video statement of Dua emerged, it quickly garnered negative criticism from a number of social media users.

Many social media users were quick to find loopholes in Dua’s character, shortcomings in her upbringing and the fault of her parents. They started to share the news with their own twist as if they were waiting for this to happen.

Numerous names were shared, jokes were made and stories were developed.

Had these types of games been banned in time the situation might have been different. People should learn from this incident instead of blaming the girl or her parents and take measures to prevent any such incident in future. With the truth still to be found, the judgements passed on the girl’s character must have hurt her parents severely

On the contrary, many kind-hearted users just focused on the fact that the child is safe and alive and prayed that everything goes well for the family.

In the space of only two days, the missing child, her parents and all those who interviewed them or helped them through their social media platforms turned from “heroes” to “villains”.

In the last couple of days, many supported Dua and her parents, some pointed fingers at her character and her upbringing by her parents, and a few remained silent, but the story is still incomplete and many questions are still to be answered.

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Currently, the case has three aspects to look at. Dua’s parents’ point of view, her point of view, and the findings of the investigative agencies.

Dua’s parents claim that the child is under influence and not speaking the truth. They claim that the child is below 18 years of age and is only 14 years old. They have presented all legal documents including B-form and passport etc to strengthen their claim. On the other hand, Dua claims that she is 18 years of age and her parents are sharing false information.

These are two different views and only a free and fair investigation can reveal the truth. Amid the confusion, how Lahore Model Town Court allowed the girl to go with her husband must have further derailed the hopes of her parents to get her back.

Having said that, one very clear thing is that the parents of the girl are facing a tough situation. They are going through a terrible time. That their daughter is not near them for the last 12-13 days, they must be in grief and pain on one hand and facing questions from friends, relatives and society on the other hand.

No one wants to be in the situation they are in right now. And anyone with a kind heart can feel their pain.

But, there are few ill-minded people who make fun of other problems. They call it freedom of speech.

Making fun of someone else’s miseries and problems in the name of freedom of speech is a shame, a disgrace and an expression of an apathetic and ill mindset.

It might be easy for someone sitting comfortably in his home to open his social media account and pass a derogatory remark on her character, judge her character or blame her parents but the pain this act gives is not imaginable.

Many people are trying to comfort Dua’s parents and opposing the ill-minded users on social media but one such insane person can spoil the efforts of all others.

The final outcome of the case is still to come but still, people are passing judgements and creating stories of their own.

This inhuman and disgusting attitude reveals the ill-minded people in our society that are a source of shame for the whole country.

In situations like these everyone should try to heal the ones with problems in every possible way. Instead of creating further problems for them.

For a moment, if it is believed to be true that she has married of her own will the situation becomes even more difficult for her family.

Here we should keep in mind that there are several criminal mafias active in Pakistan which are involved in human smuggling. It might be possible that due to the pressure of social media and a successful joint venture of all Law Enforcing Agencies, the Court Marriage drama had been staged for face-saving. It is a very critical time for a kidnapped girl and her family. Any mishap can happen during this time. So, instead of the blame game, we should struggle to unearth those mafias and criminals who might be behind these activities.

The grieved family needs more love and support because no parent would ever want this fate for a child, especially a daughter, or their family.

Instead of pointing fingers at them, everyone should try to find out who is responsible for this? Are they only responsible? Is our whole society not responsible?

Online games have resulted in many destructive events in the past. For example, most recently a boy killed his family members thinking that it was a game.

Had these types of games been banned in time the situation might have been different. People should learn from this incident instead of blaming the girl or her parents and take measures to prevent any such incident in future. With the truth still to be found, the judgements passed on the girl’s character must have hurt her parents severely.

Muhammad Ali Alvi
Muhammad Ali Alvi
The writer is freelance columnist

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