Set an example, Zainab’s father urges government

In this file photo, activists of Pakistan Global Initiative and Civil Society members hold candlelight vigil outside Press Club in memory of 7 year old Zainab in Lahore on Jan. 13, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 October 2018

Set an example, Zainab’s father urges government

  • Requests authorities to publicly hang daughter’s killer to teach others a lesson
  • Court issued a death warrant for six year old’s rapist and murderer

LAHORE: Citing Saudi Arabia as an example of a country that dealt with rapists and murderers in the strictest manner, Muhammad Amin Ansari, the father of a girl who was raped and murdered in January, said on Friday that Pakistan, too, should follow suit and publicly hang his daughter’s killer, Imran Ali.
Zainab, six, was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Kasur, located 51km away from Lahore, in Punjab, while her parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah this year.
After his appeal for clemency was rejected by the president, the Supreme Court issued a directive to hang Ali on October 17 in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
Zainab’s father is now demanding that authorities publicly hang Ali in Kasur. “We want his death in the public. He should be hanged in public as a lesson for other criminals,” he told Arab News. “If the government does not accept our demands, we will hold a protest rally in Kasur on Monday,” he added.
The brutal rape and murder of the minor girl incited countrywide protests and outrage, resulting in the death of two protesters. The government formed a special investigation team and the case was also taken up by the apex court of the country.
Officials used DNA evidence to arrest Ali, a resident of the same area as Zainab’s family. The accused later confessed to his crimes and was indicted in raping and killing eight other minor girls.
On February 2 this year, an anti-terrorism court awarded the death sentence to Ali on the charges of kidnapping, rape and murder. He did not file an appeal against the sentence, which was instead lodged in the Lahore High Court by the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat Jail on his behalf.
“According to the Criminal Proceedings Code (Cr P C) the jail superintendent files an appeal in the court if the accused fails to do so. This appeal is on behalf of the state,” Aleem Baig Chugtaie, a senior Supreme Court advocate, told Arab News.
Ali’s appeal was rejected by the top courts while the president, too, refused to accord clemency for his crimes.


Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

Updated 07 August 2020

Pakistan Medical Association, doctors fear coronavirus surge as lockdowns lifted nationwide

  • Islamabad’s PIMS hospital had less than 10 coronavirus patients before Eid Al-Adha but new patients coming in since
  • Pakistan announced on Thursday it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) and infectious disease experts on Thursday warned of a possible surge in coronavirus cases due to a premature lifting of restrictions, as the government announced a day earlier that it was opening virtually all sectors closed down in March to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Pakistan shut schools and land borders nearly five months ago, decided to limit domestic and international flights and discouraged large gatherings to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. But with infections and deaths down nearly 80 percent since their peak as per government records, the government decided on Thursday to lift the lockdowns to help the country return to normalcy.
Pakistan celebrated the Eid Al-Adha religious holiday last week. After the last major Islamic festival, of Eid Al-Fitr, in May, infections rose to their peak in Pakistan.
Dr. Nasim Akhtar, head of infectious diseases at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad, told Arab News the coronavirus ward at her hospital only had five to six patients before Eid, but new patients had once again started coming in.
“Cases registered a sharp increase after Eid Al-Fitr, and this can happen now again with the lifting of the lockdowns,” she said, adding that the government should have waited at least two more weeks to reopen restaurants and other public places.
“This is a bit early, and may worsen the situation again,” Akhtar said.
The World Health Organization has said “extreme vigilance” was needed as countries begin to exit from lockdowns, amid global concerns about a second wave of infections.
Germany earlier reported an acceleration in new coronavirus infections after it took early steps to ease its lockdown. South Korea, another country that had succeeded in limiting virus infections, saw a new outbreak.
“The next week is crucial to see if the infections soar as just one week has passed now since the Eid holidays,” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association, told Arab News.

Cases could also surge during the Islamic month of Muharram, which begins in late August, he said, and due to independence day celebrations on August 14. Huge crowds come out all over the world, including in Muslim-majority Pakistan, to commemorate the slaying of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh).
“We think that the opening of all these things in a hurry ... probably this will create problems for us,” Sajjad said.
He said infections had risen sharply in the United States and Brazil after the nations lifted restrictions when cases initially declined. Spain reported 1,772 new coronavirus infections on Aug 6, marking the biggest jump since a national lockdown was lifted in June.
University of Health Sciences vice chancellor Javed Akram, however, called the reopening of public places a “wise decision.”
“The government cannot keep the cities and businesses under lockdown forever,” he said. “People should follow health guidelines to fight the virus.”