ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the country’s history, the Federal Investigation Agency has constituted a team to deal with cases pertaining to child sexual abuse and child pornography on the internet.
Moreover, according to an official letter from the law-enforcement agency, all zonal in-charges of the National Response for Centre of Cyber Crimes (NR3C) have been directed to furnish detailed reports on all cases registered with them which may relate to child sexual abuse or child pornography.
According to the notification, Imran Haider and Muhammad Salman Khan, the two senior NR3C investigators, are part of the team that will handle such cases.
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Soon after the notification was issued, an accused involved in such crimes against a child was arrested from Jhang on Sunday.
Pakistan’s laws did not contain punishments for child pornography until the infamous 2015 Kasur child sexual abuse case was reported, after which a law was passed that made the crime punishable.
The National Assembly on December 10, 2015, had passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2015, aimed at protecting children from mental and physical abuse. It contains two-to-seven-year imprisonment for offences related to child pornography.
Keeping in view the relatively short prison term as compared to the gravity of the offence, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Interior had passed the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeking more severe punishments for child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
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On October 24 last year, the panel passed a bill moved by Mussarat Ahmad Zeb seeking amendment of sections 292-C, 377B, Act XLV of 1860.
The ‘Objects and Reasons’ of the bill maintains that recent events relating to child abuse of children throughout the country have necessitated that tough punishment shall be doled out to the perpetrators. Current penalties are relatively low when compared with the magnitude of the crime. The bill aims to increase the punishment of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors. The bill seeks imprisonment not less than 14 years or more than 20 years, and a fine which shall not be less than one million rupees for offences related to child pornography and sexual abuse of children.