A father in eastern Pakistan killed his three daughters, after a fight with his wife, police said on Monday.
The girls, aged 9, 8, and 6, died after being thrown into an irrigation canal in the town of Kasur near the Indian border, in what local police officer Andul Majid described as a case that highlights the problem of cruelty to children.
Police arrested the man, who confessed to the killing, Majid said, adding that the girls’ bodies had been retrieved from the canal.
The father is to be charged with multiple counts of murder and could face the death penalty if convicted, the officer said, referring to the country’s penal code.
Thousands of children suffer cruelty in Pakistan every year, with the crimes often going unpunished due to the absence of tough laws and a dysfunctional prosecution system.
At least eight incidents of violence, mostly sexual abuse, are reported to police every day, according to statistics compiled by the Sahil organization that focuses on issues relating to children.
However, this may be only the tip of the iceberg, as monitors fear thousands of cases go unreported for a range of reasons including shame and the stigma of child sexual abuse.
The country’s social problems are gradually gaining attention, however, with a documentary winning an Academy Award in 2016 about a young Pakistani woman who was shot by her father and thrown into a river for marrying without her family’s consent.