14-year-old Dua Zehra Kazmi disappeared from her house in Karachi, Pakistan, on April 16. Zehra’s parents started the frantic search for their missing daughter. When they could not find her in the neighbourhood, they approached the police with a missing person complaint.
They also approached the local mosque with the plea to make an announcement about her missing daughter. The maulana refused to make the announcement saying the announcement could not be made as the missing person was a Shia.
Zehra’s father told a private news channel that when he approached the local mosque for help in announcing Dua Zehra as a missing person, he was refused, saying, “We cannot announce this name because she’s from the Shia sect”.
In the same programme, the parents of Zehra threatened that if their daughter was not recovered, then Zehra’s family would commit suicide in front of the Governor House. “My daughter wasn’t even going to school for the past one and a half years,” the victim’s father said.
The victim’s mother said, “I want my daughter alive. I am a mother. I will not accept her body like Zainab. I will keep the body outside the Governor House if she is found dead.”
Zainab Ansari, 8, was abducted on January 4, 2018, when she was on her way to her Quran recitation classes in the evening in Pakistan’s Punjab. Her body was found in a garbage bag dumped in a field five days later.
An autopsy of Zainab established that she was brutally raped before being strangulated. 24-year-old Imran Ali was later arrested for the rape and murder of Zainab. The police investigation found that Ali was a serial rapist and had raped and murdered at least seven more girls. In October 2018, Ali was convicted and hanged.
The divide between Shias and Sunnis runs very deep. In a bomb blast in a mosque in a Shia dominated area, more than 30 people were killed, and over 50 were injured. The Islamic State in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
This was the Islamic State’s third bomb blast in Afghanistan this week. In two bomb blasts on Tuesday (April 19) at the Abdul Rahim Shahid high school in the Shia-dominated west Kabul, more than ten people were killed, and over two dozen were injured.