PM Promises 'Exemplary Punishment' to Kasur Scandal Culprits
LAHORE: As the nationwide outrage over a sickening child pornography scandal rose to a crescendo, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised on Sunday ‘exemplary punishment’ for the culprits, while his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, ordered a judicial inquiry into what is being called on social media a national shame.
Ironically, only a day earlier Sheikhupura’s Regional Police Officer Shehzad Sultan had sought to defend the police and to downplay the child abuse scandal. According to details, a gang of 20 to 25 men had allegedly filmed as many as 400 videos of sexual abuse involving at least 280 children belonging to Hussain Khan Wala village in Kasur.
Premier Nawaz expressed displeasure over the scandal and vowed that the offenders would be awarded exemplary punishment. “The accused will not be spared any punishment,” he said in a statement. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also ordered a judicial inquiry into the case.
The chief minister directed the Home Department to immediately request Lahore High Court Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik to form a commission consisting of district and sessions judges to conduct the inquiry. “Those involved in the case will be severely punished. They will not be able to escape their fate,” he said. “The affected families will be provided with justice at any cost.”
On Saturday, a high-level committee presented to the chief minister the investigation report of case which said that the police have rounded up at least seven accused while a manhunt was under way for the rest. The chief minister was told that the police had acquired remand of the accused. He added that the Kasur child abuse scandal was highly condemnable and the culprits deserved maximum punishment.
Meanwhile, the police said that they have arrested another accused involved in the scandal. SP Investigation Syed Nadeem Abbas said all the accused have confessed to forcing children into sex and then filming the act. “We have recovered CDs of porn videos, cellphones and memory cards from the accused,” he added. “The scope of investigation will be widened.”
On Saturday, RPO Shehzad Sultan disputed the claim that 280 children were sexually abused on tape. “Eight cases had been registered against 15 accused on eight complaints within the month of July,” he told a news conference.
He said the scandal first surfaced in June, prompting a police team to visit the village. The team made announcements on the loudspeakers of the local mosque, asking villagers to come forward and lodge their complaints, if they have any. “Despite several announcements only eight complainants came forward,” he added. “Had there been 280 cases [of child abuse], there would have been a deluge of complainants.”
Siraj asks CJ to take suo moto
The sickening scandal which went viral on social media has triggered a nationwide outrage with politicians calling for action against the culprits. Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq travelled to Hussain Khan Wala village on Sunday where he appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the scandal.
“An inquiry into the matter should be conducted at full speed and the culprits involved in this heinous crime be tried in military courts on terrorism charges,” he said. “There could not be a greater act of terrorism than abuse of minor children and forcing the parents to pay extortion.”
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