Father of murdered girl blames Pakistan police for slow action

Parents of the 8-year-old were on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia at the time of daughter's disappearance

epa06429386 An undated handout photo made available by the Family of seven-years-old Zainab showing her posing for a picture, in Kasur, Pakistan, Issued 10 January 2018. A seven-years-old girl named Zainab was abducted, raped, and killed by unknown miscreant who threw her body in a dump, sparking an outrage among masses who demanded the police to arrest the culprit.  EPA/FAMILY HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
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A Pakistani man whose 8-year-old daughter was raped and murdered accused police on Thursday of being slow to respond when the girl went missing in eastern Punjab province.

Anees Ansari, who was on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia with his wife at the time of his daughter's disappearance, spoke after meeting Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Mr Sharif travelled to the city of Kasur to visit the family hours after Mr Ansari returned home from Saudi Arabia to attend his daughter's funeral on Wednesday.

The girl, Zainab Ansari, disappeared last week while going to a nearby home for Quranic studies and her body was found in a waste yard on Tuesday.

Her murder sparked clashes on Wednesday between Kasur residents and police after protesters enraged by her death attacked a police station. Two people were killed and three others were wounded in the clashes.

Read more: Riots in Pakistan over killing and murder of 8-year-old girl

Mr Sharif, who had assured Zainab's father that justice would be done, also fired Kasur's police chief for negligence in the case, according to the Punjab government on Thursday. Three police officers were arrested for opening fire on the crowd instead of into the air during Wednesday's clashes.

Zainab's killing prompted dozens of civil society activists to rally on Thursday in the city of Lahore. A similar rally took place on Wednesday in the port city of Karachi.

Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and champion for female education, tweeted Wednesday she was "heartbroken" about Zainab's fate and demanded action against the killer.