Parents in Pakistan accuse police of failing to do enough to break up a paedophile ring in the prime minister's political heartland. Natasha Howitt reports.
A growing child abuse scandal in this Pakistani village in the prime minister's heartland is shocking the country. Villagers say a prominent family forced children to perform sex acts on video, only to then sell the footage or use it to blackmail families. Parents of the victims are now speaking up, accusing police of failing to do enough to break up the paedophile ring. This house was allegedly used by the abusers. One mother, who did not want to reveal her face, described the horrors. (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) MOTHER OF A VICTIM SAYING: "They were cruel to children. The kids were being intimidated in these videos with weapons like axe and choppers. They were drugged." Another mother said her son was sent to jail after she reported the abuse. (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) MOTHER OF A VICTIM SAYING: "They (police) did not register a case, but instead of registering a (report), they took my son into custody. I pleaded before the SP (Superintendent of Police) that he was innocent." If an inquiry found inadequate police work or complicity, the scandal could engulf the provincial government headed by the prime minister's brother. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed extreme sadness, and said the culprits will be given the harshest possible punishment.