Sunday, 2 October 2011

Has justice been served yet?

Religious mob protesting against the court's verdict in Rawalpindi 

The headlines of national and international news on 1st October 2, 2011 read that the Anti-terrorist court in Pakistan sentenced Malik Muhammad Mumtaz Qadri to death for the murder of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.

During the last hearing of the case, the accused, Mumtaz Qadri had given a written confessional statement before the ATC judge that he had killed the former Governor Punjab over blasphemy. The decision of the judge seems quiet obvious but it is not. In fact I am happy that the judge showed the courage of announcing this decision.

I have been reading articles about the verdict of the court and their response on the internet where I see everyone supporting the decision but that doesn’t give us the true picture. The internet users in a country like Pakistan are few and does not represent vast majority of extremist people.

As soon as the verdict was announced, the supporters od Mumtaz Qadri, who had already gathered in front of the Adiala Jail started chanting slogans against the government and created unrest. The pelted stones on passing by traffic and Adiala Jail management had to deploy police force to disperse the protestors.
Later, Qadri supporters took out protest rallies in other parts of the city damaging public property and burning tires on the road. I never understood what Pakistani protestors are trying to do exactly when the burn tires on the road. It doesn’t harm any government official or judge or anyone but themselves. The common public faced worst kind of traffic jams on different roads due to these protestors.

So it is clear that the justice is far from being served yet. Mumtaz Qadri can file appeal in the High Court within seven days. The lawyers fraternity called an emergency meeting of the District Bar Association (DBA) at the Distric court Rawalpindi soon after the verdict was announced. The participants of the meeting held with DBA President Malik Khalid Jawad in the chair, strongly opposed the court verdict saying lawyers would move the ATC ruling. He said that ATC did not take into account the teachings of Quran and Sunnah and section 338-F of Pakistan penal code in taking the decision in Salman Taseer murder case. The fraternity also raised slogans supporting Qadri and will take further action on Monday.

So now you see that the justice has not been served yet. There is a 50% chance that Mumtaz Qadri will get away with a murder with religious communities and lawyers backing him.

If Mumtaz Qadri gets away with this, it will be an ultimate failure of law. And it will only encourage people to use the controversial blasphemy law of Pakistan against non-muslim.

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