A Pakistani news anchor has presented a broadcast with her daughter on her lap to honour the memory of a seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered.
CCTV footage showed Zainab Ansari being led away by a mystery man before she was later raped and strangled on a rubbish pile about a mile from her home.
The seven-year-old is the sixth child to have been killed in the city of Kasur in the past year, with police believing that the killings may have been carried out by a single assailant.
Last night, Samaa TV’s 7pm broadcast was dedicated to Zainab – with anchor Kiran Naz criticising authorities over their handling of the murder.
‘Today I am not Kiran Naz. Today I am a mother. That’s why I am sitting with my daughter’, she told the TV audience.
‘I have nothing else to talk about today, except Zainab.
The condemnable & horrific rape & murder of little Zainab exposes once again how vulnerable our children are in our society. This is not the first time such horrific acts have happened. We have to act swiftly to punish the guilty & ensure that our children are better protected. pic.twitter.com/9f7OM3hYT1
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 10, 2018
‘It is true that a child’s corpse is the heaviest. Today Pakistan is buried beneath the burden of the little one’s funeral.’
The killing has prompted widespread protests in Pakistan, where two protesters were killed when police fired into the crowd of demonstrators in Kasur.
The demonstrators have accused police of failing to act over the child murders.
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Speaking after her daughter’s death, Ameen’s father said: ‘‘We will not bury Zainab until the killer is caught.’
He alleged that the police did not cooperate in finding his daughter, saying ‘if the police would have acted immediately, the culprit would have been caught.’
The murder has prompted calls for action from cricketer Imran Khan and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
Malala wrote on Twitter: ‘Heartbroken to hear about Zainab – a 7-year-old child abused and brutally killed in Kasur, Pakistan. This has to stop. Gov and the concerned authorities must take action.’