Amin Ansari, father of six-year-old Zainab who was raped and murdered earlier this year, filed yet another appeal in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday requesting the public hanging of his daughter's killer.
Ansari has argued that convict Imran Ali, whose death sentence will be executed on Oct 17, can be hanged publicly under the Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, which allows the government to "specify the manner, mode and place of execution of any sentence passed under this Act having regard to the deterrent effect which such execution is likely to have".
"The purpose and objective behind the incorporation section (sic) is very much clear," the appeal says. "... The murderer of Zainab should be given exemplary punishment so as to avoid any such tragedy in future, God forbid," her father has argued.
It added: "The statutory violation of Section 22 of ATA 1997 cannot be allowed ... under the Constitution of Pakistan [and] hence calls for the interference of this honourable court."
Ansari pointed out that the state had already issued Ali's death warrants and all appeals for the courts to review the sentence awarded to him have also been rejected.
A two-member LHC bench, comprising Justice Sardar Shamim Ahmed and Justice Shehbaz Rizvi, will hear the appeal on Oct 15.
Ansari has filed similar appeals before; however, they were turned down by the court.
Imran Ali's execution
Ali, a resident of Kasur, was accused of being involved in at least nine incidents of rape and 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.
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.