LAHORE: Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq of Lahore High Court sought a reply from Punjab home secretary by June 28 in a writ petition filed by the father of Kasur rape and murder victim Zainab Amin. The father sought permission for the public hanging of convict Imran Ali for abducting, raping and murdering his seven-year-old daughter.

Muhammad Amin filed a writ petition under Article 199 of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, making the Punjab government a respondent through the home secretary, inspector general Punjab prisons Lahore, superintendent prison Kot Lakhpat and convict Imran Ali who is held in Kot Lakhpat Jail.

He said that a deterrent effect can only be achieved through public hanging.  He contended that “Justice for Zainab” became the slogan of the nation and the entire country stood against barbarity and cruelty which had taken away the life of his “little angel”.

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An anti-terrorism court sentenced the accused to death on four counts. Later, the convict filed an appeal against his death penalty which a division bench of the LHC dismissed. Imran Ali also filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Pakistan and it was duly dismissed.

In his petition, Zainab’s father said he submitted an application to respondent Punjab government to make arrangements for the public hanging of the convict so it may serve as an example of punishment under the law. However, the respondent(s) did not pay heed to his request.

He quoted Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 which provides a change of venue of a public execution for the purpose of deterrence. The appeal was filed on the grounds that “justice should only be done, but also been seen to be done”.

He requested the court to order respondents 1 to 3 to change the venue of the execution and make it public under Section 22 of the ATC 1997.

“Millions of Pakistanis hope to see Pakistan safe and a better place for children”, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2018.