“The monsters didn`t spare a single child in the village.” said an angry villager.
This statement sums up the recent horror story to surface on the Pakistani media. A village located on the outskirts of Kasur-a city on the Pak-India border, turned out to be a den of child abuse scandal. The news broke across several media outlets and as the gruesome details of the scandal/horror began to come up, the Pakistani nation could do nothing but hang her head in shame, this is the dark reality of a society living in denial.
It has been revealed that a ring of child abusers has a strong political backing of the local Ministers of the current ruling party of Pakistan (The same ruling party which is responsible for June 2014 massacre in Model Town Lahore). Local authorities, police officers and administration all at this point seem to have been involved in this shameful act of abusing children and then selling the video`s of the act to clients in Pakistan and abroad. Not just this, the abused children were drugged, threatened to remain quiet or face the humiliation of being shamed in the society. Moreover the children were forced to steal cash and jewelry from their homes for their abusers.
These horrific acts have been happening in this village on an organized scale since at least the last 9 years. When the news broke out, government officials denied any such story. However as videos began to emerge and the families of the abused children took to the roads to protest, the government facing a severe backlash announced to form a judicial commission to investigate the issue further. Judicial commissions never solve the issue in Pakistan, they are well known to bury the hatchet by buying or threatening the aggrieved parties.
Initial reports by investigative journalists suggest that as many as 250 young boys and girls were abused and filmed in the last 9 years . Their clips were also sent to international pornographic content buyers. The clips were then used to threaten, coerce and subject the unfortunate children to further abuse and psychological trauma.
This video obtained by ARY News clearly shows that the local police head of the area took pictures and videos of those grieved families who dared to file a complaint against the abusers in 2008. He then sent these videos and pictures to the abusers and higher officials so that the grieved families could be “taken out” to prevent the issue from coming up on media. This clearly shows that the police was not a silent spectator, instead police acted as sentinels for the criminals.
This is the place where the children were abused. Children were hung upside down by their feet in the well which can be seen in the courtyard. This was a form of torture to force them to remain quiet. The videos of abuse recovered by the media are not being released for the protection of the victims. So far 7 criminals associated with this crime have been arrested. It has to be noted that video evidence is not accepted by the courts under the Pakistan Penal Code. This loophole may result in weaker sentences or acquittal of the criminals.
The public does not trust the judiciary and has demanded the criminals to be put on trial in the military courts. The public is demanding all of the criminals, their supporters and financial backers to be hanged publicly. This however is still a developing story and by the time government decides to send this case to military courts, the police will have destroyed every bit of concrete evidence to save the perpetrators.
Paedophilia is one of those dark realities of this society which the people are not willing to talk about. The topic is hushed up as a taboo. In our patriotic swerve we are quick to label India as the land of rapists, but we never look at our own state of affairs. The social fabric of the society has been ripped apart, this is a moral-less society where people are too timid to call a spade a spade.
Last year, the documentary “Pakistan`s hidden shame” aired on Channel 4 in Britain. The documentary was quickly dubbed as an anti-Pakistan propaganda by the West. It was hushed up and swept below the carpet. Now it seems that the documentary was true after all. This issue of organized child abuse is just one piece of the whole puzzle. The problem spans across the country, pedophilia is just one aspect. If this issue is investigated in a transparent manner, then this child abuse scandal will lead to human trafficking which spans across the Asian continent.
This isn`t Pakistan`s problem alone. In the last few years, such cases have made the highlights in UK as well where the Buckingham Palace child abuse scandal where exploitation of the highest order happened right under the nose of Her Majesty.
It is our duty to question. How do we expect this to end when paedophiles aren`t just lone sharks, they are being backed and supported by the governments. Whether you look at Pakistan or UK, there is one thing in common. In both cases the abusers appear to have influential supporters.
Is it not time for humanity to wake up?