AMRITSAR: Surprising as it may sound but the girls have outnumbered boys in Pakistan. Despite the socio-cultural taboos associated with girl child like dowry, sexual abuse, weaker sex etc, the girl child were not aborted in certain areas of Pakistan like Southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtonkhawa.
Contrastingly, the urbanised areas, including major cities of Pakistan, sex selective abortions are common. Pakistan's former federal minister of human rights, Ansar Burney told TOI (via phone from Karachi) that girls were in immense demand in Pakistan due to the common practice of three to four marriages in almost every fourth family. "The girl carries a price tag in Southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtonawa areas," he said, while claiming that in areas like Swat they were sold by their weight.
There were more than 1200 girls for every 1000 boys in Pakistan, he added, since the Mullahs dictate against sex determination or abortions. "But sadly, despite this, many of these girls don't have a promising future as most of their parents discard, abandoned or sell them due to poverty" said he. Illiteracy was rampant in these areas so men preferred to buy girls and now they were also being used as suicide bombers, he added. "Yes there is discrimination with female child in Pakistan due to our mindset," candidly admitted Faraz Abbas, a government official with Evacuee Trust Property Board while talking to TOI (via phone from Lahore) on Sunday.
He said in urban areas most of the parents hold the mindset that with girls comes the liability of dowry, while the male child was educated and cared for. Former president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Bishan Singh agreed that not only the Muslims but Hindu's and Sikh's also prefer male child. However, he said with the changing social setup many parents were opening up to the idea of accepting the girl child.