LAHORE - A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Kasur children abuse scandal has been demanded by an All Parties Conference (APC), held under the auspices of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) here on Monday.

“The incident is horrific and merits strong condemnation,” stated the APC which was attended by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamaat Islami (JI), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT).

Briefing the media about decisions made in APC, PTI leader Ch Muhammad Sarwar said the participants strongly condemned the incident and wanted the culprits to face music without any delay. “The APC observed that such incidents are not limited to a district but they are taking place all over province but the government is taking no action,” he told the journalists.

Sarwar said all the parties demanded of a probe into this spine-chilling incident through a JIT comprising officials of intelligence agencies, as the police investigation would not suffice to fathom the truth.

The scandal of child abuse, in which 284 underage children were forced to perform sexual acts, has already jolted the country. Although the government ordered the police to investigate the incident, majority of the people believe the probe would be partial to let the actual culprits. So a demand for constituting JIT is on the rife. The participants of the APC also reached consensus on joining hand to stop the pre-poll rigging in the upcoming local government elections in Punjab which they feared is under consideration on the part of the ruling PML-N. They decided to work out a joint strategy to withstand the alleged pre-poll rigging.

Sarwar said from the joint communiqué of the APC that the conference also demanded direct elections on the reserved seats of women, minorities, youth and workers and that they would not accept indirect elections on the same.

The participants, Ch Sarwar said, expressed strong apprehensions that the Punjab government was once again trying to run away from holding the LG polls but they would not allow it. He said the APC demanded election in time (September 20 - the date fixed by the Supreme Court) and added that they would not accept the bureaucracy performing as election commission staff in the LG polls.

The APC, chaired by Ch Muhammad Sarwar, was attended by Shaukat Basra of PPP, Mian Munir, Ramzan Gujjar and Amna Ulfat of PML-Q, Ameeruz Azeem of JI, Basharat Jaspal and Noorullah Sidiqui of PAT, and PTI’s Umar Sarfraz Cheema, leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmudur Rashid, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Dr Shahid Siddiqui, Nadeem Qadir Bhindar, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Tariq Sana Bajwa, and advocate Anees Hashmi.

LHC moved over incident: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court praying the Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik to take suo moto notice of massive child abuse in Kasur.

A civil society activist Abdullah Malik filed the petition. He said that the Punjab government once again requested the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court to constitute an inquiry commission to probe into the child abuse matter.

He said that a number of commissions and tribunals were made in the past and they prepared reports and recommendations. But neither the governments complied with the reports and recommendations of the commissions nor they got them published, he added. He requests the chief justice to take suo moto notice of the incident and bring the culprits to justice.

Meanwhile, another lawyer has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking directions for the federal government to send the cases of sodomy and sexual abuse with children to try the accused in Military Courts.

The petitioner-lawyer has also submitted that the governments do not act upon the reports and recommendations of the commissions, so it would be better that these cases be sent to military courts.