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Zainab Ansari

Zainab Ansari

Zainab Ansari: Pakistan’s Daughter Who Changed The Entire Nation

On 9 January 2018, seven years Zainab Ansari dead body was found 100 miles away from her home at a landfill site in Kasur, Punjab. On the same day, a Twitter user uploads a horrifying image of Zainab’s half-decomposed, tortured, sodomized, and murdered little body that instilled strong emotion of rage and angst among the general Pakistani public, now crushed under the weight of Zainab’s tiny little coffin. Zainab’s martyrdom changed Pakistan forever.

” The tiniest coffins are the heaviest.”

Zainab Ansari was born on 18 August 2010 in Kasur, Punjab. A little girl with green eyes and love for pinks and purples set Zainab apart, a child full of love, dreams, and life. Adored by her mother and treasured by her father, she was a child born to love and be loved.

 While Nusrat and Amin were in Mecca, performing Umrah, Amin received a call from his brother back home that struck him dumb. When he turned  around, Nusrat saw her husband’s white beard wet with tears, and she knew something terrible has happened back home; Zainab went missing.

Zainab Ansari was on her way to Quran class when she went missing. Her Uncle, Aunt, cousins, and everyone in the neighbourhood started looking for her. Her Uncle even submitted a missing person’s report. During the first 24 hours, which are most crucial to a missing person’s case, the police did nothing.

Before Zainab Ansari, seven girls from the same neighbourhood went missing and were found murdered with the same person’s DNA on their body but the predator never got caught because the police did nothing.

Zainab’s case united the entire nation of Pakistan. Everyone came forward, participated in protests, pressurised the authorities and demanded justice. Finally an investigation team was set up. They went about interrogating people and monitoring CCTV footage, and after fifteen long days, they found a footage of Zainab holding the hand of a stranger walking down the street. But the CCTV footage was so grainy that they could not make up anything of the man except that he was like any other average Pakistani man. The team then started collecting DNA samples of men from the neighbourhood.

Sample 814 was a match.

Imran Ali, a 23 year old, seemed to be like any other lower middle class 23 year old. Imran was a part time construction worker and, according to his neighbours, very decent and religious. But there was something creepy and eerie about him. Everyday from his rooftop, he would watch the middle-school girls play. Every single day, like CLOCKWORK, he would watch little girls.

Sample 814 was titled as Imran Ali. His DNA was not found only on Zainab’s body but on the bodies of 7 other young girls who had previously went missing and later found murdered.

Imran Ali was arrested and trialed for numerous crimes that included murder, rape, kidnapping, sodomy, terrorism, and commiting an unnatural act. During his trials, Ali’s attorney gave up the case half way through stating that his conscience will never allow him to sleep at night if he keeps defending him. The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, tweeted:

“Deeply pained about brutal murder of an 8-year-old girl in a child molestation case. Those societies that cannot protect its children are eternally condemned. Not going to rest till the perpetrators of this dastardly act are apprehended & given severest possible punishment under the law.”

Imran Khan tweeted: “The condemnable & horrific rape & murder of little Zainab exposes once again how vulnerable our children are in our society.”

On 17 February 2018, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore Central Jail found Ali guilty for the rape and murder of Ansari and twelve other underage girls. The court handed him four counts of the death penalty, one life term, a seven-year jail term and PRs. 3,200,000 in fines.

Imran Ali was hanged on 17 October 2018 at the age of 24 without showing any guil or remorse on his actions.

Ansari’s murder incited widespread protests and outrage throughout Pakistan, and ultimately led to the passage of Pakistan’s first national child safety law, known as the Zainab Ansari Alert Bill (similar to the AMBER alert system in the US). The bill directs that any individual found guilty of child abuse faces a minimum mandatory sentence of life imprisonment and also stipulates instigating legal action against any law enforcement officials who cause any unnecessary delay in investigating such cases within two hours of a child being reported as missing.

Zainab Ansari united an entire nation. Every citizen of Pakistan saw their mother, sister, and daughter in Zainab Ansari. Her tragedy deeply resonated with the Pakistani masses. She changed Pakistan and their perspectives for better. People finally started teaching their children about good and bad touch, conservatives started accepting the concept of sex education, people finally outgrew the idea of a woman ” asking for it” since, Zainab was only SEVEN and fully clothed.

Zainab Ansari is Pakisan’s daughter who changed this nation forever.

Article by Ifrah Shah

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