Questions continue to be raised about the child abuse scandal that has shocked the nation. To make facts plain, the videos of the abuses exist. And on the videos is evidence to suggest that a ring of child molestors in the area filmed children being made to perform sexual acts against their will. These videos were edited and also turned into promotional short films, that were used to aid in their sale. The videos were not filmed for private consumption, with abusers also playing the part of directors; they are heard on film while recording the children in sex acts, telling them to turn left, smile at the camera, among other things.
The Nation broke the story through its reporter Ashraf Javed. Evidences of abuses that were provided by parents have also been provided to the police, the parents children told The Nation. A video shop in Kasur where child pornography was sold have been uncovered by Waqt TV. The hawaili where the films were made has been shown on TV by the Waqt TV team on the ground. Media channels and papers have covered even more aspects of the scandal in Kasur.
But the media is not the government. The only thing we can collectively do is provide enough evidence to point the police at an organised criminal activity that has been taking place for years on end. The only thing we can do is interview the parents and children and try to piece together a narrative of the horrors they endured. And endure horrors they did. Parents of 284 children have made the claim that their children were subjected to abuse. Police sources confirm, but only off the record, that they have complaints close to 200 in number also.
Many will not come forward. And many will withdraw their complaints. Ask yourself, would you not do the same if you said wrong had been done to you, but a personality as important as the Punjab Law Minister dismissed the claims as a land dispute that has been dealt with? Is it likely that in the environment where every claim of abuse is subjected to not genuine scrutiny, but incredulous questioning by law enforcement, more families of abused children will step forward to offer up their young to such merciless scepticism?
The media cannot investigate this case. We do not have the means. What he have shown, beyond doubt, is that children in Kasur were abused for profit on film. It is now for an open, independent inquiry to find how far the abuses spread, and how to find and punish the perpetrators. The only thing we can do to help the families is to continue to bring their voices to our readers and to the government, and hope and pray that justice is served.