Pakistani Police officer stopped from investigating 8-year-old girl’s rape & murder because he is ‘non-Muslim’

The father of an 8-year-old Pakistani girl whose rape and killing shocked the nation has told the Government that a “non-Muslim” Police officer should not be allowed to investigate his daughter’s death.

The girl, Zainab Ansari, disappeared last week while going to a nearby home for Quranic studies and her body was found in a Kasur waste-yard on Tuesday. The father, Anees Ansari, was on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia with his wife at the time of his daughter’s disappearance.

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

The government appointed Additional IG Abu Bakr Khuda Baksh to investigate the case, however, Zainab’s father objected the officer’s appointment and claimed that Baksh was a ‘Qadiani’ and hence should not be allowed to investigate his daughter’s murder. He demanded that the Joint Investigation Team’s head be replaced by a Muslim. Upon Ansari’s request, Baksh was replaced by Multan Regional Police Officer DIG Muhammad Idrees.

The Ahmadis are considered heretics by the majority of Pakistani Muslims and are severely persecuted in the Islamic republic. Pakistani twitter which was actively demanding justice for Zainab under the hashtag #JusticeforZainab was shocked at the comments made by her father and called him out on what they claimed was “bigotry”.

“Qadiani” is a pejorative term used by Muslim right-wing clergy when referring to Ahmadi Muslims. The comments by the victim’s father also got a reaction from the members of the Ahmadi community who responded to his hatred on social media.

Ahmadi activist Kashif Chaudhry’s tweet went viral on the Pakistani Twittersphere in which he assured Zainab’s father of his support despite the hate shown by him for his fath.