Can Pakistan publically hang killer of Zainab Amin?

Following the awarding of death sentence to Imran Ali – a serial killer and rapist who subjected Kasur’s nine innocent girls including Zainab Amin to sexual brutalities and death – a certain fractions of the society has raised their voices to hang the convict publically.

The 24-year-old Imran Khan was awarded four-time death penalty by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Sajjad Ahmad under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore on February 17, 2018 besides one life imprisonment and Rs 3.2 million fines.

Eight-year-old Zainab Amin’s body was found lying dead in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9, 2018.

Reacting to Imran Ali’s death sentence, Zainab’s parents Haji Muhammad Amin and Nusrat Bibi voiced satisfaction but they desired to see Imran Ali hanged to death publically.

Zainab’s parents are not alone in their desire as last month, the Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif also echoed the same, saying if it was possible, he would have preferred to carry out execution of Imran Ali in public to make an example and deterrent to halt such criminalities in the future.

But neither public executions have ever existed in Pakistan nor Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) 1860 endorses it; though one public hanging of a killer and rapist took place in 1981 in Lahore in Pappu Rape and Murder Case. But since it was a military regime led by late General Zialul Haq, such execution lacked the legal cover.

However after heinous and vicious crimes were committed in Kasur – a Southern City in Pakistan’s Punjab Province – involving 11 minor girls; the demand of carrying out public hangings have certainly been echoed in the society.

It is worth mentioning here that on January 24 – a day after the arrest of Imran Ali was confirmed by the Punjab government – the Senate Standing Committee on Interior also proposed an amendment entitled the “Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018” in the PPC to publicly hang those who kidnap, sexually abuse or murder children.

Currently, Section 364-A of the PPC reads “Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person under the [age of 14] in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt… or to the lust of any person [sic] shall be punished with death.”

But the amendment proposed by the Senate’s Senate Standing Committee seeks to add the words “by hanging publicly” at the end after the word “death” to Section 364-A.