LAHORE - A 17-year-old girl was found stabbed to death at a house in the Factory Area police precincts, police said on Tuesday. The body was moved to the morgue for autopsy.

The deceased was identified by police as Sitara, a resident of Punjab Housing Society. A police investigator said the body was lying on the carpet in a pool of blood as they entered the bedroom. “The blood marks on the bed sheet suggest the victim was attacked when she was asleep. She offered resistance but fell on the carpet, next to the bed,” the official said after visiting the crime scene. Sitara was repeatedly stabbed with a knife and died on the spot because of excessive bleeding, police said.

Sitara was living along with her four brothers at the house since the death of her parents, local residents said. Her mother died just two weeks ago.

The motives behind the killing were not clear yet. The police registered a murder case against unidentified killers and launched the investigation with no arrest made so far.

Community sensitisation urged to curb violence against girls

Parliamentarians, Australian deputy high commissioner, civil society representatives and young girls at a policy dialogue on Tuesday endorsed the idea that the Punjab government should come up with a coherent policy to implement the existing pro-women laws to counter gender based violence against women, girls and groups from other gender identities.

Hina, 16, participant in the policy dialogue, highlighted the issue of discrimination between boys and girls when it comes to determining the legal age of marriage for girls and boys as currently this is 18 for boys and 16 for girls.

Sonia, another rights activist, quoted a report of Digital Rights Foundation reflecting 70% girls and women are not using their original photographs on social media because of fear of misuse.

Deputy High Commissioner of Australia in Pakistan Brek Betley urged inclusion of all stakeholders parents, teachers, religious leaders, local government representatives, media, civil society, parliamentarians, ministers and other influential people to address the issue of violence against women and girls.

Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine said the PTI government would implement the existing laws to curb violence against women. A group of parliamentarians consisted of Zakia Shahnawaz (PML-N), Mjsarrat Jamshed Cheema (PTI), Sadia Sohail Rana (PT)I, Neelum Hayat PTI and Sumaira Ahmed Bukhari PTI assured their full support in raising the cause.

Representatives from the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, Chief Minister’s Strategic Reform Unit, National Commission for Human Rights and other government departments endorsed the demand made by girls to end all forms of gender based violence.

This policy dialogue was arranged by Search For Justice & Children Advocacy Network- CAN Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan Girl Guides Association.