An Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) on Friday issued the death warrants for Imran Ali — the man convicted for the rape and murder of Zainab Amin.

According to an order issued by ATC Judge Sheikh Sajjad Ahmed, Ali's death sentence will be carried out on October 17 at Lahore's Central Jail.

"Today's warrants were issued after President Arif Alvi rejected Ali's appeal for clemency in the Zainab case on October 10," said Prosecutor Abdul Rauf Watoo.

Ali, a resident of Kasur, was accused of being involved in at least nine incidents of rape-cum-murder of minors, including Zainab's which he had confessed to during her murder investigation.

Out of the seven rape and murder cases registered against Imran, the court has given its verdict in five.

The ATC on February 17 had given him four counts of the death penalty, one life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines. The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering Zainab, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).

In total, Imran Ali has been sentenced to 21 counts of death, three life sentences and a cumulative 23 years in jail.

He has also been set a Rs2.5 million fine by the court, which is other than the Rs255,000 that he has been sentenced to pay as diyat. Only two cases against Ali remain pending.

Justice for Zainab

Zainab's rape and murder earlier this year had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9.

Her case was the twelfth such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.

The heinous nature of the crime had seen immediate riots break out in Kasur — in which two people were killed — while #JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children.

The Punjab government had declared the arrest of Ali, the prime suspect, on January 23.

On June 12, the Supreme Court rejected Ali's appeal against the death sentence handed to him for the rape and murder of Zainab, noting that the petitioner had admitted committing similar offences with eight other minor victims and "in that backdrop, he did not deserve any sympathy in the matter of his sentences".

Imran had filed the appeal challenging the death sentence handed to him in February, claiming his trial was not fair.

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