However, unlike the Catholic Church, which has a clear hierarchy topped by the Vatican, there is no central religious authority that governs madrassas.
There is also no central body that investigates or responds to allegations in religious schools.
“This is one of those things, you know, which everybody knows is going on and happening, but evidence is very scarce,” he says.
He adds that the power of the people who run the madrassas has increased over the years.
They operate without scrutiny, ignored by the authorities, say residents living nearby.
Parveen's son, for example, went to an unregistered madrassa.
“This thing is very common, that this is happening.” Pakistan's clerics close ranks when the madrassa system is too closely scrutinised, he says.
Among the weapons they use to frighten their critics is a controversial blasphemy law that carries a death penalty in the case of a conviction.
And cases rarely make it past the courts, because Pakistan's legal system allows the victim's family to “forgive” the offender and accept what is often referred to as “blood money.” The AP found hundreds of cases of sexual abuse by clerics reported in the past decade, and officials suspect there are many more within a far-reaching system that teaches at least 2 million children in Pakistan.
The case of Parveen's son was one of at least three within a month in the towns of Kehrore Pakka and Rajanpur in Punjab province's deep south, according to police reports.
Another incident involved the drugging and gang rape of a 12-year-old boy asleep on his madrassa rooftop by former students.
He says he was not aware of even the cases reported in the newspapers, but that it could occur occasionally 'because there are criminals everywhere.“ Yousaf says the reform and control of madrassas is the job of the interior ministry.
The Interior Ministry, which oversees madrassas, refused repeated written and telephone requests for an interview.
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He has since refused to talk, and there have been no significant arrests or prosecutions.