Islamabad: Pakistan’s National Assembly on Friday passed a resolution calling for the public hanging of offenders convicted for sexually abusing and murdering children by a majority of votes.

The resolution was presented by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and passed by all lawmakers, apart from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Dawn news reported.

Raja Pervez Ashraf, PPP leader and former Prime Minister, said: “Ramping up the severity of punishments does not result in a reduction in crime.

“We cannot put public hanging into practice as it violates the laws of the UN.”

He was not the only one to raise his voice against the passing of the resolution. Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry “strongly condemned” it.

“This is just another grave act in line with brutal civilisation practices. Societies act in a balanced way. Barbarism is not the answer to crimes... This is another expression of extremism,” he wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari clarified that the resolution “was not government-sponsored but an individual act”.

According to a report released by child rights organisation Sahil last September, 1,304 cases of sexual abuse of children were reported by the media in the country from January to June.

This means that at least seven children are abused everyday.

With the issue continuing to remain widely prevalent, the government has witnessed criticism for not taking any concrete measures to address flaws in the investigation of such cases or the implementation of the relevant laws.

Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Ijaz Alam Augustine Friday said passage of the resolution would prove a turning point in the history of the country.