A two-member Lahore High Court (LHC) bench on Tuesday dismissed an appeal made by the father of six-year-old Zainab Amin, who had asked the court for a public hanging of his daughter's rapist and murderer, Imran Ali.
During the hearing, Amin Ansari's lawyer argued that Ali can be executed in public under Section 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The bench responded that only the government has the authority to order a public execution under Section 22.
"We are not the government," said Justice Sardar Ahmed Shamim, who was heading the bench. He asked if the appellant had submitted a request to the government. Amin's lawyer Ishtiaq Chaudhry replied in the affirmative, saying that the government had not taken any action on the request.
The bench asked Ishtiaq why his client had not approached the court earlier if that was the case.
"You have come here so late. The date of the hanging has been fixed for tomorrow [Oct 17]," said Justice Shamim.
Ishtiaq urged the court to "allow a live telecast of the hanging inside the jail". He said that his client was ready to bear the expenses if the court were to allow them to take a camera inside the jail.
The court dismissed Amin's appeal.
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. One case against Ali is still pending.
In total, Ali has been sentenced to 21 counts of death, three life sentences and a cumulative 23 years in jail. He is scheduled to be hanged till death on Oct 17.
PPP opposes public execution
Speaking during a meeting of a special Senate committee regarding the increasing cases of child abuse, PPP leader Sherry Rehman on Tuesday opposed the public hanging of Zainab's murderer, arguing that if permission is given, such demands will come forward again in the future.
If we resume public hangings, there won't be any going back, said Rehman, adding that Zainab's parents should be allowed to go to the site of the hanging.