An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday reserved its judgement in the rape and murder case of six-year-old Kasur girl Zainab Amin.

The verdict will be announced on Saturday, Feb 17.

Zainab's rape and murder last month had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9. Her case was the twelfth such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.

The Punjab government had declared the arrest of prime suspect Imran Ali on January 23.

ATC-I Judge Sajjad Ahmad, who presided over Ali's trial — held daily at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail starting Feb 10 — had indicted the accused in the Zainab rape and murder case earlier this week.

The trial court recorded testimonies of 36 prosecution witnesses. A special team of prosecutors tried the suspect.

The accused had initially denied guilt when charges were framed against him, and had opted to contest the trial. However, he made a confession soon after and was indicted on Feb 12. On Feb 14, the ATC recorded his complete statement.

Before the commencement of Wednesday's proceedings, Prosecutor General of Punjab Eihtesham Qadir Shah had provided the suspect with a state lawyer after his private defence counsel withdrew power of attorney following the confession made by Ali.

Advocate Mehar Shakeel Multani had told reporters outside the jail that he could never think of defending a criminal and had therefore decided to withdraw his power of attorney. He said the suspect had misled him about his innocence.

Ali is also suspected of involvement in at least nine cases of rape and murder of minors in Kasur.

Police had confirmed on January 13 that DNA samples collected from the crime scene pointed towards the involvement of her rapist and murderer in at least seven similar cases in the district.

Various quarters have called for the public execution of the perpetrator of the crime.

Opinion

Sub judice rule
18 Sep 2021

Sub judice rule

It is time this objection, sub judice, is laid to rest.
The Black Caps folly
Updated 18 Sep 2021

The Black Caps folly

There is so much wrong — and worrying — about the entire sorry episode of New Zealand backing out of Pakistan tour.
CT NAP revisited
Updated 18 Sep 2021

CT NAP revisited

A policy of appeasement towards extremists has undermined the state’s writ.
Pathways for reform
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pathways for reform

Even now the government has said they are listening, but they have not said how they are listening.

Editorial

Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...
TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...