In an attempt to crack down on violent crime and to show an example to the people, the Pakistan Government decided that three convicted murderers would be publicly hanged in Lahore on Thursday, March 23rd, 1978, and that their bodies would be left hanging from a high point on the wall of Lahore Central Prison, where everyone could see them.

The trio, Mohammed Afraq, Ahmed Sheralam and Mohammed Hanif, were found guilty by a summary military court of kidnapping and killing a 12-year-old boy, the son of a Lahore businessman, who they tried to ransom. Hanif also sexually assaulted the boy.

General Zia, the country’s military ruler, said he believed that “shock treatment, starkly displaying the punishment meted out to criminals, is the best way to combat the rising crime rate.” And a Lahore magistrate commented: “We have to educate the common people with Islamic punishments, floggings, public executions, and cutting off thieves’ hands, if crime is to be subdued.”

As the hanged men were exhibited there were cries of “Long live Islam!” and “Long live General Zia!”