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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.

Zainab's murder: the state must not succumb to mob mentality

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."

Take a look: No, death penalty is not a solution to child sexual abuse

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.