Zainab
Seven-year-old Zainab, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered and dumped in Kasur, Pakistan. Twitter

#JusticeForZainab is trending internationally after the kidnap, rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl shook Pakistan.

Zainab was missing for five days after being kidnapped on her way to a tuition centre, before her body was found dumped in a pile of rubbish in Kasur on Tuesday (9 January). Officials said she had been raped multiple times and then strangled to death. No one has yet been arrested, although pictures were circulating on social media showing a bearded man hand in hand in Zainab.

Heartbreakingly, Zainab's parents are on Umrah, an Islamic pilgramage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They are expected to return to Pakistan on Wednesday to prepare for their daughter's funeral.

The case has hit a nerve following a series of incidents involving the sexual abuse of children in the country. Protests broke out in Kasur shortly after the discovery of Zainab's body was reported.

Protesters set vehicles on fire and clashed with police after claims they had failed to arrest a single suspect in any recent child abuse cases, Pakistan's The News said. One protester was killed in the unrest and two others have been critically injured, according to ARY News.

Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, tweeted to vow that he would not rest until the perpetrators are behind bars. He wrote: "Deeply pained about murder of... girl in a child molestation case. Those societies that cannot protect its children are eternally condemned. Not going to rest till the perpetrators of this dastardly act are apprehended and given severest possible punishment under the law.

"Just presided over a meeting of police and administration officials. Made it absolutely clear to them that lip service would not work. I want the culprits involved in this heinous crime behind the bars. Those failing in their duties will be proceeded against. Very painful incident!"

But Zainab's father, Ameen Ansari, said that police had shown "negligence" in tracking down the culprits.

Pakistani celebrities, including many cricket players, have been among those raising awareness of Zainab's case, with the #JusticeForZainab hashtag trending internationally on Twitter, including in London.

Many shared a meme that told Zainab's story and named six other girls who were kidnapped and murdered in Kasur in 2017, before asking: "Look at this & decide what you want to use your voice on Social Media. How long will we be silent about child abuse? How many Zainabs will it take?"

Cricketer Wahab Riaz tweeted: "I refuse to believe this can be true and this can happen in our Pakistan but the reality is different. Ya Allah give sabr to the parents. As a father just hearing about this has made me feel sick. What is happening? How can we stop this from ever happening again?"

Fellow cricketer Shoaib Malik said he was "sickened, speechless and so so sorry" and asked: "What have we become?" Both men shared a photo of Zainab urging people to "raise your voice!" Their colleague Mohammad Hafeez said that, as a father, he "just can't imagine the pain" of Zainab's parents and urged prompt action from the government.

Sports presenter Zainab Abbas wrote: "What a beautiful girl and look what our world is coming to, are they even human? Absolutely heartbreaking. Heart goes out to her family who will now be scarred for life! May justice prevail and the animals accountable face dire consequences!"