Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called the mob killing of a 7-year-old girl a “day of shame” for Pakistan and vowed to bring the culprits to justice.
Aliza Talwar, a resident of the northwestern city of Mardan, was fatally stabbed on Thursday as she was returning home from a nearby market with her mother and three siblings.
As the family’s white car sped through an alley on its way to their home, residents in the area hurled abuse at the children, punched and kicked the driver and later killed the girl, police said.
“There is nothing fair or fair in [the] brutal act,” Khan said in a statement. “The culprits must be punished,” he added.
Police said the incident is likely to have been a “premeditated attempt to murder.”
Aliza’s husband, Abdullah Talwar, said he had no idea how his family could have been targeted.
“As I approached the car, I saw my daughter brutally killed on the back seat,” Talwar told Reuters. “No one helped the mother or me. The neighbors, who were watching, said nothing.”
The gruesome slaying has shocked the public in Pakistan, which has seen a spate of such attacks in recent years. Earlier this week, two teenage brothers were killed by a mob in the southern city of Karachi, allegedly because they were asleep in a car during a thunderstorm. In March, two mentally ill men were beaten to death in Islamabad for throwing a “poisonous powder” at the city’s children.
The brazen nature of the victim’s death has also fueled public criticism against Khan’s government, whose minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari, blamed the slaying on “a new form of fascism” marked by “such depraved cruelty.”
Writing in the News International, a Pakistani news website, Hamid Mir said the murder was “an alarming testimony to the rising terror, cruelty and the pervasive lack of morality in our society.”