‘Punjab Govt Complicit In Darul Amaan Sexual Abuse Scandal’
Women Democratic Front (WDF) has said it was deeply disturbed and concerned over the alleged sexual abuse of minors at Darul Amaan Lahore (Kashana), followed by the suspicious killing of an orphan who had spoken out against the abuse.
In a press release, the WDF said, “We demand an immediate judicial inquiry into the suspicious death of Iqra Kainat, who had revealed that orphans in the shelter are sexually abused by provincial ministers.
The former superintendent of Kashana, Afshan Latif, has named Punjab Social Welfare Minister Raja Basharat and Minister for Inspection Teams Muhammad Ajmal as being responsible for Kainat’s death. According to
Latif, government officials abducted Kainat, issued a fake death certificate for her when she was in their
captivity and then killed her. In November last year, Latif had said that the orphanage was being used by
ministers and other influential individuals to sexually abuse minor girls. The body formed by the government to
investigate the Kashana abuse scandal (Chief Minister’s Inspection Team) gave a clean chit to former provincial
Minister for Social Welfare, Ajmal Cheema, in December.
Latif had named Cheema along with Afshan Kiran Imtiaz, the director-general of Kashana, in her complaint to her department. The complaint stated that Imtiaz was pressuring Latif to marry underage girls to high-ranking officials. She said that Cheema was complicit in the offence.
These complaints, followed by the suspicious death of an orphan who had spoken out against sexual abuse at
Kashana, merit an immediate thorough investigation.
The WDF thinks that by virtue of its inaction and attempts to cover up the case, the government is in
the final analysis complicit in covering up abuse.
The WDF demanded:
-hold a judicial inquiry into Kainat’s suspicious death and hold the culprits accountable. There should be representation in the inquiry body of Kashana workers who are sympathetic towards those who suffered abuse
-a Kashana workers-led inquiry, assisted by WDF and other progressive labour and feminist organisations, into
the sexual abuse scandal.”