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The Farishta Case Shows the Discrimination Faced by Pashtuns

When Zainab was abducted, raped, murder and then dumped in garbage, the civil society, the NGOs and the whole mainstream media highlighted the issue and asked the government for prompt action because Zainab was the innocent daughter of nation.

But the situation is very much different in the case of Farishta, as neither there is any campaign on mainstream media nor any serious statement from the government officials and the related authorities – perhaps because Farishta was not a Punjabi child and she belonged to a poor displaced Pashtun family.

History will always remember the fact that Pashtuns were the only people killed in the name of collateral damage, who were displaced in the name of military operations, who were ignored and discriminated in the name of security issues and who were termed traitor and anti-state for their struggle in the name of national interest.

It is a fact that the government has done nothing to control child abuse. A sharp hike has been witnessed in these cases even after the Zainab case, with SAHIL, an NGO working on the child abuse, saying that more than 10 children are abused in Pakistan daily.

In the latest case, the attitude of the state towards Pashtuns was very much rude as the police initially were not ready even to register an FIR against the perpetrators.

Talking to media, the elder brother of Farishta said, “We were very tense about her because she was missing for hours. As we went to police station and asked the police for FIR, they were not ready to register our FIR and were of view that Farishta might have flee home on her wish.”

There are many layers of this case which need to be understood and highlighted, like the government’s failure to stop child abuse, which the reason why child abuse is becoming a norm in our society.

Moreover, the case has highlighted the discrimination of state institutions like police who were not ready for cooperation and registering the FIR timely against the criminals, and hospital refusing to conduct post-mortem due to her Pashtun background.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media ignored the case, but the worst part of this episode was when one of the famous news media channels in its tickers declared the family of Farishta as Afghan.

Since then this TV channel is greatly under pressure and a boycott campaign has been launched on social media. Many social media users have termed it as a channel which runs scripted transmission.

This case has also highlighted that there is no justice, peace and prosperity for Pashtun who will always be ignored, beaten, displaced and made a scapegoat for the cruel state policies.

Talking to the protesters, MNA Mohsin Dawar said, “We will keep protesting till the suspension of those police officers who were not ready to lodge FIR.”

He added that the state was exposing its real face to the rest of world, as such cases were taking place even in the capital and no one was ready to take action.


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