Pakistan MPs demand harshest possible punishment for child abusers

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Islamabad: The National Assembly of Pakistan has passed a unanimous resolution seeking the harshest possible punishment for child pornography culprits, the media reported on Tuesday.

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Members of the lower house of parliament expressed solidarity with the victimized children and their parents.

Reports of a 25-member gang of paedophiles, making and selling videos of child sexual abuse in Punjab province’s Ganda Singh Wala area for the last 10 years, surfaced on Saturday.

Investigations into the massive scandal – termed the biggest in the country’s history – revealed that around 400 videos were made of 280 minor victims, some younger than 14 years, Geo News reported.

The parents of the victims were consistently blackmailed and coerced into paying hundreds of thousands of rupees with threats of releasing the videos in public. Reports said families in the locality were helpless as officials all along remained indifferent to the incidents.

The number of accused arrested in the child abuse scandal has risen to 14 after police made two more arrests on Monday.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also ordered a review of the situation, law and order and steps taken under the National Action Plan in the province.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Tahirul Qadri said such a crime could not occur without the protection of government and police officials.

He said whenever the chief minister declared the formation of a judicial commission that meant Shahbaz Sharif wanted to “protect” the criminals.

Qadri demanded that the chief minister resign from his office admitting his failure in providing protection of life, property and honour to the citizens.