Pakistan in Outrage over Rape and Murder of Zainab Ansari

13 January, 2018, 03:44 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Zainab Ansari's body was found in a rubbish dump several days after she went missing. She had been raped and strangled

It was the twelfth case of a girl being abducted, raped and killed in the past year in the district.

"A total 220 suspects have been interrogated so far in the brutal murder of the child". Recent records have also shown such cases are rising.

Firebrand cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri who took part in Ansari's funeral service demanded the local government be replaced, saying it has "no right to remain in power after the killing of Zainab Ansari".

The chief minister ordered that the charge-sheet for the case should be presented in court within 24 hours. The abuse was uncovered in 2015 and a number of suspects arrested. We don't want an innocent to be presented as the culprit and killed just to wash this case'. What is missing from the discussion is the larger issue of child protection in Pakistan. A quarter of all adults report having been physically abused as children.

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Women rights activist Mumtaz Mughal says the government wakes up to such cases when they are reported in the media, but hasn't done anything to introduce legislation and mechanism to prevent child abuse. "Every year, there are an estimated 41,000 homicide deaths in children under 15 years of age". They set a vehicle on fire, broke the building's window panes and damaged other properties. "I have appealed to the army chief and the chief justice of Pakistan to give me justice as I have no faith in Punjab government and police", he said.

The Punjab government is offering a 10m rupee ($90,000; £67,000) reward for anyone who helps police find and arrest Zainab's killer, and has offered 3m rupees each to the families of those killed by police on Wednesday, the BBC was told.

Pakistan does not have laws similar to India protecting the identity of rape victims in the media, which is also why her full name, and pictures of her face are out in the public domain.

While many are hoping action will be taken, it seems the journey seeking justice for Zainab and countless victims seems long and challenging. The truth is that we are all complicit in all kinds of abuse, and we encourage silence in the reporting of that abuse, especially when it pertains to women's bodies. In fact, we actively discourage any discussion about such things. "But don't pretend that WE (you and me and our parents, our schoolteachers, our civilian and military rulers) don't have anything to do with what is happening in our midst".



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