The father of Zainab Amin, a six-year-old child whose rape and murder by Imran Ali in January 2018 had sparked national outrage, has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) demanding that his daughter's killer be hanged publicly.
The petition states that a public execution will "give [a] clear message of deterrence to everybody" and that "the murderer of Zainab should be given exemplary punishment so as to avoid any such tragedy in the future."
The petition further says that according to Article 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), the government can carry out public executions if it is likely to create a deterrent effect.
Zainab, whose body was recovered from a trash heap in Kasur, had been kidnapped, raped and killed earlier this year. The incident had spawned the #JusticeForZainab campaign online and also resulted in an increased debate on and media reporting of child abuse cases.
On February 17, the accused Imran was found guilty by an Anti-Terrorism Court and was subsequently awarded four counts of the death penalty, one life term, a seven-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines.
In the aftermath of the verdict, a debate had taken place in the Senate and the Council of Islamic Ideology on whether public execution could be justified in certain cases. The lawmakers had eventually opposed the idea.