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Pakistan MPs demand harshest possible punishment for child abusers

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picture from- ksn.com

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.

picture from- abc27.com
picture from- abc27.com

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.

(IANS)

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Pakistani Doctors Blame Quacks for Alarming Rise in HIV Cases: Report

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has blamed quack doctors practicing without training and professional certification for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country, the media reported on Wednesday.

The doctors associated with the PMA said that the quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized, adding that despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus was also increasing.

An alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Pakistan’s Punjab province, with 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad city, Dawn News reported.

Earlier this month, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province after over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks, most of them were children.

HIV
School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Following the outbreak, authorities launched a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories said to be involved in spreading the disease. At least 17 quack doctors were arrested and more than 70 clinics in Larkana district were shut down, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the PMA, over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone.

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The association demanded the government to make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country.

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN. (IANS)