Justice for Zainab

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On January 9, 2018, the corpse of seven year old Zainab was found in a dump in Kasur, a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The little girl's body showed signs of rape and strangulation. She had been on her way to a Quran class near her home when she was kidnapped. Five days later, her abused body was found discarded two kilometers away from her home. As of yet, the police have been unable to find the perpetrators and this is largely due to their incompetence and carelessness. Zainab's family claims the police did not take action after they reported her disappearance; it was relatives who recovered CCTV footage of Zainab's movements before she disappeared - not the police.

The purpose of having a police force, a justice system, and a government is to regulate the law, prevent injustices from happening, and, when they do occur, ensure justice is provided. Time and time again, the Pakistani police, judiciary system, and government have failed us. Zainab's rape and murder is not a singular case but rather one of countless that occur in this region on a recurrent basis. Since 2015, over 700 cases of child sexual assault have been reported from Kasur alone. This revoltingly high number is to be blamed on the weak investigation system, which is both too slow and too inadequate to pursue these cases effectively - and on the lengthy judicial process, which prosecutes the criminals weakly at best, resulting in most culprits being acquitted. 

Our letter is to those who claim to be leaders and protectors of this country - the police, the judiciary, and the government. You are failing. You are failing when our daughters and sisters cannot safely walk outside. You are failing when young, innocent bodies are found in dumps, ruthlessly murdered.  You are failing when these criminals are freely walking around after taking a lifetime of opportunities away from others. 

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