By Babur Ali
Mumtaz Qadri, the man who shot PPP leader and ex-governor of Punjab Salman Taseer 28 times in public, was executed on Monday early in the morning at Adiyala Jail Rawalpindi. His death has created a very strange situation in the country which is already polarized. Govt. has played a remarkable role in all this scenario. Discussion over the legal perspective and scenarios created before and after Qadri’s Execution is given below :
MUMTAZ QADRI : The legal Perspective
In the wake of Mumtaz Qadri’s death , one often wonders about the fabric of Pakistani Society. Such rumination leads to a simple question : What does it mean to be a citizen of Pakistan? The answer, in fact, is amazing simple. Pakistan , like any other civilized country has it’s own fixed set of rules. Anyone who claims himself as a citizen of this country must follow those set of rules. Therefore, any debate on Mr. Qadri’s actions should be foreclosed by the fact that Mumtaz Qadri shamelessly violated the law. Arguing over the morality of his decision is redundant and not more than waste of precious time, at least from a legal or constitutional perspective.
Any criminal, irrespective of the morality of his actions, is liable to be punished and Mumtaz Qadri is certainly no exception. To have pardoned Mumtaz Qadri would have meant to forego the constitution under the pressure of those fanatic factors who want to damage the law and order situation of the country, thereby rendering the law of Pakistan ineffective and impotent. We must realize that what separates us from our enemies, the Taliban, the West and all those who doubt our ability to lead law abiding and civilized lives, is our belief in the fairness and equity of our laws and their application to all citizens, blind to all difference in race, creed or status.
The circumstances before and after Qadri’s Execution.
1). NAP :
After the notorious APS attack, the govt. launched it’s very famous 20 point plan named as National action plan (NAP). This plan was supposed to be implemented by both the military and civilian side. With military courts regularly disposing of cases of hardened militants, passing and implementing on death sentences, the civilian side was under even more pressure to take responsibility. This very brave act of Nawaz Sharif’s govt. is admirable and it can be seen as a signal by the civilian side to army establishment showing that they are also “in the game” to remove religious fanaticism.
2). The Journey of NS from ” right ” to ” left ” :
Some recent decisive and meaningful actions of Nawaz Sharif show us that he is reforming and evolving. He is no more a “Pro-conservatives” which he used to be in Zia’s regime. Mr. Sharif attending the sacred event “holi” of Hindu family, appreciating the efforts of Sharmeen Obaid and passing the bill on this issue , passing the bill on women protection are such steps which should be admired by those who want to see Pakistan as a progressive state. Recent killing of LeJ chief also shows us that govt. is working to eradicate the seed of terrorism with zero-tolerance policy.
Keeping in view all the records of previous elections which Nawaz Sharif has won, he always used his conservative ideology as a trump card. But now the case is different. No doubt his vote bank will be largely affected by these decisions but in other side he is getting the sympathy of liberals.
3). Point Scoring by ” conservatives ” :
Many of the conservative politicians can be seen on the roads of the country specially in the capital uplifting banners and placards in supports of Qadri. Keeping in view the position of religious community to which Qadri belonged is in majority. So for the politicians it is an opportunity to gain the sympathy of that particular community resulting in an increase in their vote bank. Most of them (Conservatives) are availing the chance and doing their best to show that they are standing with Qadri. The massive crowd on the funeral of Qadri depicts the reality of how seriously the “Mullahs” are taking the matter.
4). Role of Opposition :
Opposition like PPP and PTI merely gave opinion on this very sensitive issue. But JI and JUI (F) can be seen on the high node. They are pressurizing the govt. in every possible way they can. Current statement of Fazl u Rehman demonstrates his stance in which talked about de-railing the govt. on Qadri’s Execution and passing of Women protection bill in assembly.
” Justice has been served. “
That can be the best conclusion to all this never-ending debate. A man who brazenly violated the law of country no matter what his idea was in the background got his punishment. It is a very admirable action of the govt. demonstrating that no one has can bypass the law by using the religious card.
The author is an electrical engineer and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org