Father guns down newborn daughter in Mianwali

    A man killed his seven-day old daughter in Mianwali district two days ago because he had wanted a son.

    Police said Shahzaib Khan contracted marriage with Mashal Fatima two years ago and the woman gave birth to a daughter, Jannat. Police said the suspect was angry with his wife for giving birth to a girl.

    On Sunday morning, police said, the suspect entered his house, pulled out a pistol and shot his daughter dead after snatching her from his wife. The suspect managed his escape.

    The girl was taken to the DHQ Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead. The autopsy report showed the suspect had fired four bullets to kill the newborn.

    Police have registered a murder case on the complaint of victim’s maternal uncle Hidayatullah and started investigation.

    Punjab Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan has taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the Sargodha RPO.

    The IG said perpetrators of violence against women and children do not deserve any leniency and the culprit would be penalised.

    The news came as organizers of the demonstrations, known as Aurat Marches, brace for clashes at demonstrations planned across the country for International Women’s Day.

    Activists say violence against women and girls is endemic in Pakistan, a Muslim-majority country of more than 220 million people, with two cases in particular giving this year’s march added resonance.

    Last month, an appeals court in Lahore acquitted Muhammed Waseem in the 2016 murder of his sister, social media star Qandeel Baloch, after he was pardoned by his parents under Islamic law. Waseem, who was originally sentenced to life in prison, had said he strangled Baloch to death because her behavior had dishonored the family.

    Activists also cite the case of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of a former diplomat, who was raped and beheaded in Islamabad last July by a man who held her captive for days. Though her killer, Pakistani-American Zahir Jaffer, was sentenced to death last month, activists say the trial was characterized by victim blaming and attacks on Mukadam’s character.

    Organizers of the march have faced threats since it was first held in Pakistan in 2018. This year they are also confronting what they say is a highly coordinated online campaign by Islamist hard-liners that aims to spread misinformation and distort the march’s message.

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