Zainab Ansari: Father of Eight-year-old Girl Raped and Murdered Claims Police Did Nothing

The parents of a eight-year-old girl found dead after being raped are demanding justice after claiming the police failed to investigate adequately when the girl was reported missing.

Zainab Ansari vanished as she was on her way to a Koran recital in the city of Kasur on January 4. Her body was found near a rubbish heap about 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) from her house on January 9.

Police confirmed that she was abducted and said an autopsy revealed that she was raped and subsequently strangled to death. It is the twelfth incident of this nature to occur in Kasur district in recent months.

Zainab's parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (holy pilgrimage), when she was reported missing. They returned to Pakistan on December 10.

Upon arrival at the Islamabad airport, the girl's father, Ameen Asari, alleged the police did not do anything when the girl was reported missing.

"My relatives and neighbors told me that the police used to come, have food and leave. While they didn't do anything, my friends and family spent day and night looking for my daughter," Al-Jazeera reported, citing local media.

"In Pakistan, security is only for leaders and we are just common insects," he continued.

The girl's mother said: "I don't know anything. I don't know what happened. I just want justice. I have lost Zainab. I don't have anything to say."

The High Commission of Pakistan has not replied to a request for a comment.

Police denied they have been lax in investigating this or the previous child abduction cases .

Regional police officer Zulfiqar Hameed told Reuters he is confident Zainab's case will be resolved soon as police recovered CCTV footage showing the girl's movements before she went missing.

"We have got CCTV footage that shows a young man taking her along. We will catch him very soon," he said. He then added that 95 DNA samples had been taken from suspects.

Kasur Protests
Pakistani residents carry the body of a girl during her funeral in Kasur in Punjab Province on January 10, 2018, following her rape and murder. At least two people were killed when a protest against the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl turned violent in Pakistan on January 10, police said, as a city scarred by child abuse erupted in fury. Paramilitary forces were called to the city of Kasur near the Indian border, Punjab provincial police said. A senior police official told AFP hundreds were protesting the killing, which also prompted a deluge of outrage on social media. / GHAZI AHMED/AFP/Getty Images

Deadly protests

The discovery of Zainab's body has sent shock waves across the country. In Kasur, people have been on the streets calling for justice for days. Locals claim police have not been investigating child abductions.

At least two people were killed and one wounded as demonstrations turned violent and protesters attacked security forces, police said.

"They started throwing stones at the office and some of armed protesters shot bullets at police. In order to stop them, police resorted to aerial firing," the spokesman for Pakistan's Punjab province, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, told Reuters.

However, residents claimed police used excessive force.

"A peaceful protest was taking place, some students threw stones and police responded by firing at the crowd," Saleem ur Rehman,who was present at the protest, said.

"The law and order situation here is really bad and there have been many such incidents. That is what the protest was about."

The army also acknowleged Zainab's case and offered help to the police. Military spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor took to Twitter to condemned the "cold blooded murder of innocent Zainab".

"Responding to appeal by the aggrieved parents to COAS [Chief of Army Staff] , directs immediate all out support to civil administration to arrest the criminals and bringing them to exemplary justice," he continued.

Pakistani celebrities and prominent figures, including actress Mahira Khan and Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, have also commented on the case, calling on authorities to find perpetrators.