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NA passes Zainab Alert bill for response, recovery of missing children

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly has unanimously passed the Zainab Alert bill introduced by NA’s Standing Committee on Human Rights which defines the law for the response and recovery of missing children, ARY News reported on Friday.

The government and opposition have unanimously passed Zainab Alert bill which will pave the way to penalise culprits in crimes against children from 10-14 years to life imprisonment.

A helpline 1099 will be established under the law besides constitution of an agency to take immediate action after responding complaints about abduction, murder and rape of minor children, read the bill, adding that the officer will also get penalised over failure to respond within two hours.

A lawmaker Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto praised the approval of the bill, saying that today’s the second death anniversary of Zainab Ansari and the parliament gave a big message on the day.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Asad Umar said the children are more sensitive as compared to the powerful people.

Another lawmaker, Faheem Khan, demanded public execution of the culprits in child abuse cases.

Senator Faisal Javed praised the development in his Twitter message, expressing thanks to the National Assembly over passing Zainab Alert bill. He said that the bill will be forwarded to Senate and later it will be presented before assemblies. The bill will pave way for the establishment of Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Agency, he added.

While talking to ARY News, the father of Zainab, Amin Ansari, praised the approval of the bill and reiterated his demand for the death penalty to the culprits in child abuse cases.

About Zainab rape, murder case

The bill is named after Zainab Ansari, who had been kidnapped on January 4 and found from a garbage heap on January 9. Zainab’s autopsy report suggested that the minor was sexually assaulted before being strangulated to death.

On January 21, the Supreme Court gave three days’ time to a joint investigation team formed to probe the rape and murder of Zainab to track down the culprit.

The JIT arrested the culprit named Imran Arshad on January 23 after the DNA proved that he was behind the rape and murder of Zainab and at least eight other girls from Kasur.

The rapist had been handed a total of three counts of death penalty and Rs2.5million in fine in another case of child sexual abuse.

Imran Arshad, who was already awarded four counts of the death penalty, one life term, 7-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines back in February for raping and murdering a seven-year-old girl named Zainab in Kasur, had confessed sexually abusing at least eight minor girls.

Imran Ali, who was awarded death penalty in the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab, had met his ultimate fate on October 17.

Ali was hanged to death at 5:30 am at Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Central Jail. He was executed in the presence of Judicial Magistrate Adil Sarwar, the deceased’s father, Muhammad Amin, and her uncle.

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