Pakistan hangs child killer after death sparked riots

The convict also confessed to raping nine girls in total including the 7-year-old

The rapist and murderer of a seven-year-old girl from Pakistan was hanged to death inside Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail early morning today.

Zainab's father Amin Ansari was also present in the premises of the jail.

"I have seen his awe-inspiring end with my own eyes".

Her body was recovered from a garbage heap near her house on January 9.

The case, the most heinous in a string of similar child murders in the city of Kasur, had sparked outrage and protests in the country.

Talking to reporters after the execution, the girl's father said he regretted that the hanging was not telecast live.

He subsequently filed an appeal in the Lahore High Court challenging the death sentence handed to him in the Zainab case in February, claiming that his trial was not fair.

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At least 12 cases of rape and murder have been recorded in the Kasur area in the past two years. Two people were killed in the ensuing clashes. Police and anti-riot personnel surrounded the jail as the hanging took place, Dawn reported. The hashtag #JusticeForZainab later went viral, with many Pakistanis calling for action.

Imran Ali, who was nabbed by police in January, was given 21 counts of death, three life sentences and 23 years in jail by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Pakistan.

Chilling CCTV footage broadcast on television following the killing purportedly showed the young girl - Zainab Fatima Ameen - walking hand-in-hand with an unidentified man, in what may have been her last moments.

As a last resort, he sought clemency from President Arif Alvi, but his plea was rejected on Oct 10 and his death warrants were issued by an Anti-Terrorism Court two days later.

This is because child abuse attracts little attention in Pakistan even though it remains a recurrent phenomenon.

But now that Zainab's tormentor has gone to the gallows, one is reminded of the sad reality that not much was ever done after those initial statements of intent.

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