Pornography trader and LHC

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By Wajid Shamsul Hasan

Notwithstanding the Coronovirus pandemic and its deathly devastations worldwide, in Pakistan normal people find their hair standing at their ends when they continue to hear dreadful news about the fate of increasing number of children dying in death or rendered into living corpses by their becoming callous victims of paedophiles mounting in numbers unabated and undeterred with conniving police and criminally partisan judiciary. Indeed, in hindsight one finds lot of meat in the observation of Imran Khan’s Islamic pontifical authority Maulana Tariq Jameel.

During his COVID Telethonic fund raiser Imran Khan had with him with top TV anchors, his pontifical inspiration Maulana Tariq Jameel hand out in a burst of anger to everyone except Imran Khan obviously since he paid the piper, that they are all sinners responsible for God’s wrath in the shape of COVID-19.

The Maulana could not control himself and charged that Pakistani people are suffering the curse because of them letting their womenfolk go scantily dressed exposing their vital parts to lure men folk to commit sexual indulgence as a way of life. He was extremely vitriolic against men as well especially politicians who according to him, lie, cheat and deceive people with their false and misleading promises. MTJ warned that unless people change their ways and tailor their lives as set an example by his mentor Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ‘chaste, honest, straight and sexually above board life’ (without mentioning his DNA-proved love child).

In the light of this sickening scenario by MTJ, the dreadful news that shocked every Pakistani was Lahore High Court’s breaking all its previous records of chicanery and injustices inflicted on the society, by suspending 7-year Jail sentence by granting bail to Pornographer Sadat Amin– convicted of child pornography and indulging in international flesh trade. He was sentenced on being presented by FIA forensic evidence of his head deep involvement in selling pornographic material to his lucrative foreign client in Norway. Ever since his conviction Sadat Amin is reported to have been trying his best to prove that there was nothing wrong in what he did as it earned legitimate foreign exchange for the national exchequer as repeatedly sought by the Prime Minister.

His bail and subsequent release by the orders of the Lahore High Court the other day has ignited a prairie fire in the country. A wave of anger is simmering that is likely to become a populist crescendo that will sweep away the remaining of much tattered and shredded moral fabric of Pakistani society. The Lahore High Court already earned its notoriety for tainted justice from the days its Chief Justice Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain who convicted Pakistan‘s first elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on dictator General Ziaul Haq’s fabricated charges of murder.

Saadat Amin

One may recall that Sadat Amin was arrested in Pakistan in 2018 and sentenced for seven years in the country’ what came to be known as Pakistan’s first ever conviction for child pornography. On coming to know of it FIA’s cyber cell section complaint against Sadat made by the Embassy of Norway in 2017, started a probe.
Sadat Amin was investigated for being an active member of an international nexus of child pornographers with links in Sweden, Italy, UK and the United States. FIA found him in ‘possession of pornographic videos pornographic pictures and sexually explicit videos’ of children between ages of 8 and 14 years old which were then sent over to Norwegian James Lindstorm, his main foreign client.

Investigations further revealed Sadat Amin involvement in cases financial fraud through Western Union and MoneyGram. FIA says Amin received between 100 and 400 dollars each in separate transactions. Interrogation of Amin revealed that he had been selling child pornographic stuff on line since many years on the pretext of teaching children computer skills in Sarghoda and elsewhere. Local police’s involvement also came to light as has been the case in similar and other underworld activities in Punjab that has made it quite infamous for flourishing flesh trade. DIrector in FIA Asif Iqbal investigating the case is learnt to have recovered 65, 000 pornographic video clips from
Amin’s illicit treasure trove.
Such a sordid handling of country’s first detected case of pornography has caused enormous anger against PM Khan, his government in Punjab, condemnation of Lahore High Court and failure of the Lahore police put up a proper case for prosecution. There is wide alarm among parents in the province where the Law enforcing authorities are being questioned about the loopholes in the law that allows serious offenders to get free to commit new crimes.

The news of the release of pornographer obviously sparked an outrage on social media as well where people are not only demanding justice and safety for the children but also want befitting punishment to those in judiciary who connive in such heinous crimes and help the culprits go scot-free.
In social media the quiet release of Amin shows connivance of judiciary with the gang of pornographers to release the criminal when the nation is spell bound in worries due to coronovirus pandemic. Parents allege that pandemic is being used as a cover to pornographers and slut traders.

People are demanding draconian punishment for child abusers. It is dreaded that increasing child rape and sexual abuses of female children are becoming order of the day especially in the Province of Punjab because the culprits are people with powerful connections in the police and judiciary. FIA investigator Asif Iqbal, according to Gulf News, tweeted and shared with the public saying that he  thoroughly investigated this case and sentence was awarded on merit. He claimed that investigators had to face lot of pressure during the probe and trial of the accused.

According to GULF NEWS report by Sana Jamal, Islamabad based child protection  specialist Valerie Khan says that public outrage is understandable. She is seeking access to the court documents to comprehend the reason for which Amin was granted bail. Valerie Khan told Gulf News that ‘we can not afford to let criminals to be free to pose a danger to the safety of children.’ Indeed, with tacit police collaboration with criminals, children in Punjab are most vulnerable. Rights activists believe that grant of bail to a criminal sentenced for seven years on strong evidence to prove his guilt shows collaboration between the judiciary and the criminal. People want the Supreme Court to take Suo Motto action and take the judges of Lahore High Court to task. 
One is reminded here 8-year old girl Zainab’s rape and murder case in which Imran Khan had promised exemplary action against the culprits and also promised review in laws to protect the children from flesh traders. One also remembers busting of paedophile and pornography ring involved in sexual abuse of at least 200 children and blackmail of their parents in village Kasur. Three years later, the 12 men who were accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence on account of fabricated Joint Investigation.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has rightly demanded of Imran Khan Government to set up a strong and iron clad mechanism to protect children. Exemplary punishment to the culprits was needed and not a faulty prosecution mechanism to let the criminals go Scott- free. HRC believes that police stations, hospitals, the judiciary and the society shall have to be made more children friendly. It was high time Supreme Court dealt with draconian hands Paedophiles especially in madaris and among the clerics as well.

(Author is the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK and a veteran journalist.)