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Pakistan’s Hidden Shame: Documentary reveals horrors of pedophilia in K-P

Updated September 03, 2014

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Director Mohammed Naqvi,and British producer Jamie Doran's film Pakistan’s Hidden Shame depicts the shocking reality of sexual abuse faced by small boys in the Northern areas of Pakistan.

The documentary premiered on September 1 on Britain's Channel 4 and shows the "dark reality of a society living in denial."

Set mainly in Peshawar, the film shows homeless boys of different ages recalling their experiences of sexual exploitation.

In an interview with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, the director of the documentary told her what puts children at risk in Pakistan and around the world.

"Pedophiles by their very nature are inadequate, it's about power over children."

"Where these individuals are able to use and abuse vulnerable children, Pakistan in particular because of the poverty. That's one of the other factors that really plays here."

 Screengrab from the documentary
Screengrab from the documentary

In the documentary, the narrator introduces Pakistan as 'one of the most important Muslim populations, a democracy, a nuclear power and a supporter of the Western bloc.' But it soon reveals the silence and denial on one of the most taboo topics: pedophilia.

The documentary alleges that 9 out of 10 children in Peshawar have been victims of pedophilia. It also contains interviews with truck drivers who have committed such crimes.

Shockingly, one of the drivers admits, without any remorse, to having raped 11 or 12 boys.

 Screengrab from the documentary
Screengrab from the documentary

Doran also questions Imran Khan whose party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which has Peshawar as its capital.

"It's one of the most sad and shameful aspects of our society. I am totally embarrassed by this and that we have not really been able to protect them," Khan said.

Disturbing Rotherham child abuse report

The release of the documentary overlaps with the alarming revelations of a report released from Rotherham, the Northern English town where abuse, grooming and trafficking of 1,400 girls by predominantly Asian men over a 16-year period.

According to Reuters, the independent report last week exposed the scale and graphic nature of the crimes and raised difficult questions about whether timidity about confronting the racial aspects of the abuse had prompted authorities to turn a blind eye.

Some of the victims, mainly white girls in social care homes, were as young as 11 and were plied with drugs and alcohol before being trafficked to cities across northern England and gang-raped by groups of men, predominately of Pakistani heritage, the report said.

Those who tried to speak out were threatened with guns and made to watch brutal gang rapes. Their abusers said they would be next if they told anyone. One girl was doused with petrol, her rapist threatening to set her alight.

The report added that senior managers in social care "underplayed" the problem while police regarded many victims with contempt.