The National Assembly passed a resolution on Friday calling for the public hanging of convicted child killers and rapists, drawing a quick backlash from at least two federal ministers as well as the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Following this, several popular personalities, including the Human Rights Minister, Shireen Mazari, took to Twitter to share that she strongly opposes it, and that it was an individual act.
“The resolution passed in NA today on public hangings was across party lines and not a govt-sponsored resolution but an individual act,” she said. “Many of us oppose it – our MOHR strongly opposes this. Unfortunately I was in a mtg and wasn’t able to go to NA.”
Following this, Mehwish Hayat also took to Twitter to share her views.
“Strange, when these rapes and murders of children are reported,we all call for the perpetrators to be hanged in public. But when the government agrees we all begin to hide behind the ‘human right violations’, said the celebrity while supporting the resolution.
Hayat added that, “Unfortunate as it is, we need strong deterrents to stop this rot in society!”
Hayat closed off her call with the hashtag, #hangchildrapists. Her tweet garnered quite a lot of attention, as people started pouring in their views regarding the never ending debate of capital punishment.
Artist and activist, Shehzil Malik, also responded to Hayat’s tweet, explaining how condemning capital punishment is ‘not strange’. According to her, legalising death penalties could mean more victims dying since the culprit would know what awaits him if the crime is reported. She continued to add, “Victims will be pressured to stay silent because majority of these crimes are committed by people you know.”
Nevertheless, the non-binding resolution, moved by Parliamentary Affairs State Minister Ali Muhammad Khan, follows a spate of high-profile child sex-abuse cases, which provoked outrage across the country in recent years.
“Child killers and rapists should not only be given a death penalty by hanging, but they should be hanged publicly,” Khan told the lower house of parliament. “The Quran commands us that a murderer should be hanged,” he added.
However, the Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry also took to the micro-blogging website to strongly condemn the resolution. “This is just another grave act… societies act in a balanced way, barbarianism is not answer to crimes. This is another expression of extremism,” he tweeted.