ISLAMABAD  - Taking notice of the country’s biggest child abuse scandal that rocked the country following a report published on Saturday in The Nation, the federal government said it would extend all possible help to the Punjab government in investigating the incident in order to punish those involved in the incident.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervez Rashid who also holds portfolios of Law and Human Rights told The Nation that federal government would look into the human rights aspect of the children sexually abused in Kasur district of Punjab. “It is encouraging that chief minister Punjab has initiated inquiry into the sexual abuse of hundreds of children most of them in the age bracket of 6 to 10. I have personally talked to senior government officers in Punjab,” the minister said.

He added that stern action would be taken against the ring leaders or those involved in the exploitation of little children for the lust of money. “It’s premature to say who is behind the exploitation. But I assure that that law will not spare anybody even if the culprits emerge to be politicians,” the minister told when asked that there are reports that some political figures particularly an MPA had helped release a culprit from police custody.

The news story spread like jungle fire prompting condemnations and concerns from all quarters, including politicians, human rights activists, civil society organisations. It also trended on Twitter with #childabuse.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan was among those who took to twitter to condemn the scandal. “If we cannot protect our children and instead police protect perpetrators of abuse, then we are becoming an inhumane and depraved society,” Imran Khan said in one of his tweets. “Shocked at the news about 280 children in Kasur, most less than 14 years, sexually abused and filmed and their families blackmailed for money,” he added.

The PTI chairman announced that his party would pursue the issue of child abuse in Parliament. It is to be mentioned that National Assembly would resume its session on Monday in which PTI’s lawmakers would take part after the motions seeking unseating of the lawmakers were withdrawn by movers. Imran Khan is expected to make his appearance in the house after a long time.