Time after time, several rape cases have come forward in Pakistan which has not only left Pakistan in a state of sadness, but also anger. The people of Pakistan have been demanding for the public hanging of rapists for a long time now, but no such law has been come forward as of yet. The recent incidents including the Zainab rape case in which an eight-year-old girl was raped and murdered, and the motorway rape case in which a mother was brutally gang-raped in front of her own children have made the whole state full of anger, and they have been protesting nationwide for justice and the public hanging of rapists. However, the question that would arise is why has the government not taken such an action against rapists till now? What is stopping the government to do so? The answer is simple; the public hanging of rapists would not resolve any issue, it will only breed more violence in the state and not create any deterrence. Moreover, the public hanging of rapists would be in violation of the national and international laws. Resolution for Public Hanging In the National Assembly of Pakistan There have been several times when bills regarding the public hanging of rapists were introduced in the National Assembly, but they always got rejected due to the large number of backlash received from human rights organizations. In February 2020, Parliamentary Affairs State Minister Ali Muhammad Khan presented a resolution in the lower house after the sexual abuse and killing of an eight-year-old girl in Nowshera. According to this resolution, all the child rapists should be punished with the death penalty and hanged publically.He said that “these rapists should not only be hanged, but they should be hanged publically”. He further added that according to the Quran, murderers should be hanged. Even though a lot of lawmakers were in favor of such a law, but the human rights minister Shireen Mazari stated that such an act is not sponsored by the Government in any way. Furthermore, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) objected to this resolution as such an action would be in violation of the rights mentioned under the United Nations Charter, according to which “culprits cannot be hanged publically”. They were of the view that such culprits should be imprisoned for life. In addition to this, the Amnesty International also condemned to the public hanging of child rapists since it would amount to an act of cruelty, and believe that death penalty is not a solution to such horrific crimes. Amnesty International’s Deputy South Asia Director Omar Warraich was also of the view that public hanging does not in any way deliver justice nor leads to an effect deterrence in the society. On one occasion, Sarah Belal, the executive director of JPP stated that “the use of death penalty has always been a political tool and such an action would be in violation of the constitution and the international treaties”. Moreover, Ashtar Ausaf, the former Attorney General of Pakistan also stated that public hanging cannot create deterrence in the society and it is a sensitive matter. All these statements prove by senior lawyers and ministers focuses on the fact that the public hanging of rapists has never and will never create deterrence in the society, and violence against violence is never the way to get justice for the society.Public Hanging in Violation of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 Under the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, the dignity of a man is inviolable, and any law passed inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights shall be declared void. In 1994, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had taken Suo Moto jurisdiction over a public importance matter regarding the public hanging and execution of rapists in which a five member bench held that public hanging cannot be justified even for the worst of criminals and would be in violation to the right of human dignity enshrined under Article 14 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court had relied upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam (UDHRI). According to Article 7 of the UDHRI, no state has the power to torture criminal, especially if he is still a suspect. The Muslim scholars that formulated this declaration are of the view that “God will inflict punishment on those who have inflicted torture in this world”. In another case, the Supreme Court held that the right to dignity is the most valuable right which must be observed in every civilized society.“The Federal Shariat Court had also held the dignity of man is an inviolable and inalienable right” to “The Federal Shariat Court also held that the dignity of man is an inviolable and inalienable right”. The accused must not be made subject to torture under Article 14 of the Constitution. In the hearings of the recent Zainab Case in October 2018, Zainab’s father relied on Section 22 of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 for the public execution of convicted Imran for the rape and death of Zainab. However, the Court dismissed all the arguments in favor of public hanging of the convicted.Public Hanging in Violation of Pakistan’s International ObligationsPakistan is a member of the United Nations; therefore it is under an obligation to comply with all the provisions enshrined in the international human rights treaties, which are ratified by Pakistan. These human rights treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The monitoring body of ICCPR known as ‘Human Rights Committee’ states that public hanging would amount to violation of the right to human dignity under the ICCPR, moreover they stressed on the point that capital punishments should not be carried out publically.The Human Rights Committee holds its annual review report, and in the review held in 2017, the Government of Pakistan committed to reduce the imposition of death penalties to be in conformity with the international human rights standards, which is why the Government has not introduced any law for the public hanging of rapists in Pakistan.ConclusionAfter the recent motorway rape incident, many people have been demanding for the public hanging of the rapists and also praising Zia’s policy of public hangings. They believe that due to Zia’s policy the rate of rape had decreased, however that was not the case. According to Zia’s rape policy, the rape victim had to present four witnesses to prove rape, and the woman would be held responsible for adultery if the witnesses could not presented, which led to the decrease of rape cases being reported. Rape cases had become impossible to prove during the period of Zia. Therefore, public hanging is not in any way helpful in creating deterrence in the society. The need of the hour is to create awareness about sex education and teach children about ‘bad touch’ and ‘consent’ from a very young age. According to international studies, there is no evidence that public hangings has helped in decreasing rape cases, instead it has given rise to more violence in the society. Pakistan Resolution For Public Hanging Of Child Molesters <https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-resolution-for-public-hanging-of-child-molesters/article30765156.ece> NA Clears Public Hanging For Child Rapists <https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/610505-na-clears-public-hanging-for-child-rapists> ibid Pakistan divided over public hanging of child sexual abusers <https://www.arabnews.pk/node/1624436/pakistan> ibid The Constitution of Pakistan 1973, Article 14 The Constitution of Pakistan 1973, Article 8 1994 SCMR 1028 Dr. Kumail Abbas Rizvi vs. UOP Muhammad Aslam Khaki vs. State, PLD 2010 FSC A.Pansota, ‘Public Hangings: Violation of Human Dignity’ <https://www.globalvillagespace.com/public-hangings-violation-of-human-dignity/> The writer is a law student at NHLD Kinnaird Law School. She is currently working as the sub-editor at Impact World Press and legal content writer at Universal Oxford Publications. She is also serving as the Additional Secretary Prosecution Accountability and Professional Misconduct Committee (Punjab) LHCBA.