Social media users including civil society activists, journalists, celebrities and political figures took to social media on Monday to express shock and disappointment over the Lahore High Court verdict in which a man earlier convicted of attacking law student Khadija Siddiqui with a knife was acquitted.
Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem of the LHC acquitted Shah Hussain of all charges after accepting his appeal against the five-year sentence handed to him by a sessions court.
As netizens posted in support of Khadija and expressed outrage over the court verdict, #JusticeForKhadija became the top trend on Twitter in Pakistan.
"Today Khadija is the victim, tomorrow it can be anyone, my daughter, your daughter, anyone’s daughter! We must speak against this grave injustice," tweeted journalist Faizan Lakhani.
Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir wondered if any other woman seeking justice would trust the country's judicial system in the future following the judgement.
"A seven-year sentence for attempted murder - reduced to five years - reduced to nothing. This is how we value a woman seeking justice with proof," wrote actor Osman Khalid Butt.
Lawyer and the lead media campaigner for Khadija, Hassaan Niazi tweeted: "It was always a fight between the son of a lawyer who stabbed Khadija 23 times vs all the victims who fail to get justice."
Another user wrote: "Apparently, stabbing a woman 23 times with a knife is not a crime serious enough when you're rich and powerful."
Khadija was attacked by her class fellow Shah Hussain, on May 3, 2016, near Shimla Hill where she, along with her driver, had gone to pick her younger sister from school.
Both sisters were about to get into their car when the helmet-wearing suspect attacked Khadija with a knife and stabbed her 23 times, leaving her critically injured.