Chief Minister (CM) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Pervaiz Khattak and provincial police chief Salahuddin Mehsud on Thursday visited the family of a four-year-old girl who was allegedly raped and murdered in Mardan.
The toddler had been playing outside her house in the Gojar Ghari area when she went missing on Saturday. Her body was found a day later in a nearby sugarcane field, according to District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar.
According to Inspector General (IG) KP Salahuddin Mehsood, the medico-legal report of the incident says the girl died by strangulation and also points to sexual violence against the victim but stressed that the police was still awaiting a forensic report of the crime as medico-legal report has left certain things unclear.
Mayar claimed that police were trying to hide the sexual assault in order to save the provincial government's image.
Mayar has also called an All-Parties Conference regarding the incident, demanded the addition of rape and terror clauses in the case, and called for the arrests of those behind the brutality, while a jirga of elders in the area has given the government a 72-hour deadline to nab the culprits.
During his visit, CM Khattak assured the victim's family that all possible support would be extended to them and the culprits would be captured soon.
According to police officials, as many as 25 suspects have been arrested after the murder, and an accused will soon be identified.
The KP Inspector General Mehsud while addressing a press conference on Wednesday had said that an eight-member committee had been constituted on Jan 14 to probe the murder.
He added that another informal committee comprising family members of the victim, members of the provincial Dispute Resolution Council and local political leaders had been formed to overlook the police investigation.
Cases of sexual assault against minors have come under greater scrutiny in the country following the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur, whose body was found from a dump in the city on Jan 9.
The news shocked the entire country with #JusticeforZainab becoming a rallying cry for demonstrators while violent protests broke out in Kasur.
The prime suspect in the case, however, remains at large despite the provincial administration and police forming multiple committees and multiple agencies working on the case.