I was offered a glass of Juice by the police officer at Local police station in Phool-Nagar, Kasur. Maybe because they knew I was an “advocate”. My client, a nine-year-old sexual assault survivor, was sitting right in front of me. I have taken many child abuse cases, but each time the case got to my office many days after the incident. In this case however, I got to the victim just a couple of days after he was raped in the fields in his village, right behind his house. I offered him my juice. He responded by staring at me without blinking. He took the glass from me but wouldn’t take a sip. I insisted on just one sip but, he didn’t. He just kept staring at me and I, like every other lawyer, kept trying to read his face. Slowly, his eyes started to become wet and within few seconds tears were rolling down his cheeks. But he was still not blinking. However, he didn’t look frightened or scared. His trauma was clearly visible. I am no doctor or psychiatrist and I have never seen this kind of expression on any face. Needless to say, these were the most 10 seconds of my life. Eventually, I had to get up and leave the room. Once again, a heinous crime has taken place in Kasur. This time, the perpetrators were the survivor’s neighbours. Everyone in this village is sure that nothing will happen to these monsters, and they will go free. The perpetrators have also been creating hurdles for the family, trying to stop them from pursuing the case. A local politician has also tried to bribe them with Rs 400,000 to make them stop seeking justice. Sadly, the locals aren’t wrong. The politician is doing is exactly what is expected of this country’s politicians. Let me take you all back to the infamous Kasur child abuse scandal of 2015. Many of you probably don’t even remember that it ever happened. Some of you who still remember won’t know what the outcome of that case was. Since I am representing them in the High Court, I will quickly summarise the suffering the child abuse survivors of Kasur went through when the media and the people of Pakistan forgot about them. The trial was halted for nearly two years. The lawyer who was initially representing the kids betrayed them, the local activist who was raising his voice for the kids in the media ended up being accused of child abuse by the child abuse survivors themselves. Multiple fake FIRs were registered against the complainants and the victims. The JIT, comprising of two DIGs from police, an ISI official, an IB official, and DSP made a completely bogus report with distorted facts. These kids were left abandoned by the state. Nearly 25 out of 30 boys who were in the video had to leave their village because they were shamed by the locals. Meanwhile, some of the politicians who were supported by the perpetrators were successful in the recent 2018 General Elections. The truth is that the state is simply not serious about protecting our children So far, not even a single politician has visited the home of this 9-year old boy from Phool Nagar. Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar, like our Chief Justice only takes notice once the news makes the headlines. Meanwhile, survivors of rape and abuse are left feeling abandoned. The High Court rule book tells us criminal trials of heinous offences must be concluded within 30 days. So how do I tell this little boy that it will take three years to resolve his case? How do I explain to him the difference between sodomy and rape and why the accused will not be hanged for the offence he has committed even if justice prevails? How do I explain to him that he won’t be able to study in his village because every person in the village has seen the video of his rape? How do I justify all of this to him? The locals of Phool Nagar told me that almost every child in the village has been sexually assaulted, and the accused persons have videos of all of them, which they use to blackmail the victims’ parents. The truth is that the state is simply not serious about protecting our children. Every step taken, whether regards to the Kasur scandal, the Zainab rape case or the case mentioned above, has been cosmetic. The writer is a Human rights lawyer and Director Human Rights Protection Cell, Lahore. Twitter: @HniaziISF Facebook: Hassaan Khan Niazi email: firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, September 26th 2018.