ISLAMABAD: Politicians from various parties visited the family of 10-year-old Farishta, believed to have been raped and murdered, to show solidarity with the family on Wednesday.

The family of the victim also met with National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in his chambers, where an eight-member investigation team was also present as well as MNA Ali Nawaz Awan, Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed and the inspector general of police Islamabad.

Mr Ahmed told the speaker that all administrative actions have been agreed upon between the family of the victim and the administration against the delinquent official who failed to handle the case amicably. He said a judicial inquiry has been ordered, and a summary moved to the prime minister for a grant of compensation to the family of the victim.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman visited the family to offer her condolences.

She said the government must take responsibility for the incident, adding: “They failed to protect our children as the police are busy protecting criminals.”

“A suspension for a blatant breach of police protocol and conduct is not enough. They should have been released from their duty right away,” she said, adding that the party would raise the issue across all platforms.

Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Senator Sirajul Haq visited the family as well and, while speaking to the press, demanded the government trace those involved as soon as possible.

He said the incident took place a short distance for the Presidency and Prime Minister House, and even the IG House. He said there was much talk of police reforms, but there has been little change in practical terms.

Meanwhile, a number of civil society activists, politicians and citizens also protested outside the National Press Club.

Former senator Farhatullah Babar said at the protest that the tragic and gruesome incident was neither the first nor the last, adding that there are plenty of laws that are not being implemented because the criminal justice system is broken and dysfunctional.

He said that in a broken justice system, the poor and underprivileged suffer regardless of where they live; Farishta suffered even though she lived with her parents in the federal capital.

Child rights advocate Ishtiaq Gillani said the investigation process and evidence collection in such cases demand scientific and diligent action by the police without any delays.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2019