Four-year girl raped and murdered in Mardan

The minor girl had gone missing while playing outside her house and was found dead the next day

MARDAN: In another tragic incident, a four-year-old girl, Asma, was raped before being strangled to death in Mardan city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

The minor girl had gone missing while playing outside her house and was found dead the next day. Her body was found in a sugarcane field on Sunday in the Jandarpar Gujjar Garhi district of Mardan city.

“Asma went missing in Gujjar Ghari area of Mardan on January 13 and her body was found the following afternoon,” said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Salahuddin Mehsud.

Addressing a news conference at the Central Police Office, Salahuddin said that the autopsy report had confirmed that the girl was raped before being killed. Asma was laid to rest on Sunday.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak visited the bereaved family and assured to extend all possible help to them.

Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — the ruling party in KP province — said on Wednesday said that the provincial police not only recovered the girl’s body within 24 hours but is taking all measures to provide justice to the victim’s family.

The incident surfaced as the country is still reeling from the recent rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab Ansari in Kasur — a case which triggered countrywide protests and encouraged conversations about the sexual abuse of children in a country where the issue is traditionally considered a taboo.

Zainab’s case specifically provoked the people of Kasur, a district in Punjab province, which has witnessed at least 12 similar incidents in 2017.

The recent reported cases of rape and murder of children have shocked Pakistanis and sparked protests.

As many as 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported from across Pakistan every day, according to data by child protection organisation, Sahil.

“This gruesome figure makes it important for Pakistani parents to educate their children. We have to talk about abuse and tell our children not to remain silent,” said Salma Khan, a high-school teacher. “Child abuse cannot be eliminated through punishment alone. We need to create awareness on the issue.”

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