In 2009, in a highly publicized scandal, a Pakistani man, Sohail Ayaz, employed with the global charity, Save the Children was found to be a ringleader of an international child sexual abuse racket. The same year, a UK court sentenced him to four years in prison and put forward an application for his deportation back to Pakistan.
Fast forward 10 years and the name Sohail Ayaz has once again made headlines. This time he was employed with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a consultant earning a hefty salary by day and running his global paedophile network by night.
The story has opened a Pandora’s box of questions that need to be answered and answered urgently! What was the process that allowed a registered sex offender to be employed by the Government of Pakistan? Are reference checks not important during government hiring? Does no one care to simply Google the employees being inducted in government departments to get a sense of their historical background? Why does our system still fail to keep a record of sex offenders like other countries do?
Arrest from Rawalpindi
Sohail Ayaz was taken into custody from Rawalpindi after an FIR was lodged by the mother of a minor survivor complaining that Ayaz had forcefully taken her child to a place in Bahria Town.
According to the City Police Officer (CPO), Faisal Rana, Ayaz has confessed to sexually abusing 30 children in Pakistan and uploading their videos on the dark web.
Deportation from UK
Sohail Ayaz was deported from UK ten years ago when he was arrested from Save the Children where he was then employed. Thousands of offensive pictures featuring minors beings sexually violated were found when his home was searched by the police.
He was identified when an inquiry of an international paedophile ring was under process. According to the Guardian there was evidence that suggested that he was in contact with “like-minded individuals” in central and eastern Europe and the middle and far East.
He was jailed for four years in UK and later deported to Pakistan.
Employed with Kkyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Planning & Development Department
At the time of his arrest, Sohail Ayaz was working with the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwan as a financial consultant for an on-going World Bank funded project, receiving a hefty salary of RS. 300,000 per month.
Irresponsible is a very small word to communicate the absolutely callous behaviour and borderline criminal negligence of both the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as the World Bank for hiring a renowned paedophile and allowing him to operate his sex racket under their noses.
As alarming as this situation is it goes beyond one’s imagination what the survivors must have gone through just because the Government of Pakistan doesn’t have a centralized database to register sex offenders.
The onus of responsibility now lies on the authorities to hold accountable and punish everyone involved in the crime and ensure that Sohail Ayaz can never harm another child for as long as he lives.
However, for this to happen it is imperative that not only are Ayaz and his accomplices given stringent punishments but also a comprehensive system is introduced that does not allow for such an oversight to take place again.