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Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry - File Photo
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry - File Photo

KARACHI: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Friday said pardoning in God's name someone convicted of murder by a court of law was tantamount to evading the law, DawnNews reported.

The chief justice's remarks come days after the parents and two sisters of Shahzeb Khan, who was murdered in cold blood by a business tycoon’s son and his three accomplices, approached the Sindh High Court to seek acquittal of the convicts after pardoning them “in the name of Allah”.

The pardon of the men convicted of Shahzeb's murder triggered a widespread debate over whether the country’s elite could be held accountable for crimes they committed as the prime accused belonged to powerful feudal families.

Today, Chief Justice Iftikhar was speaking on the matter during the hearing of another murder case.

The chief justice stated that it was wrong to use Quranic verses and religion for personal gains.

He said most suffering individuals and families were usually pressured into pardoning the convict, adding that it was the responsibility of the court(s) to prevent acts that harm not only certain people and families, but society at large from occurring.

Chief Justice Iftikhar declared that if an agreement between the parties fails to bring peace to either of the two, it could not be regarded as such. The agreement between the parties has to be valid for a court of law to allow the pardon for the convict(s).

The chief justice has asked Attornery General Munir A. Malik, all four provincial prosecutor generals and Advocate Shahid Hamid, who is representing a party in the case heard today, for their opinions on the issue relating to pardon in murder cases by September 23.

Comments (48) Closed

Mir Sep 13, 2013 04:11pm

Thank goodness at least someone has a little common sense in this blasted country.

Mir Sep 13, 2013 04:14pm

Thank goodness at least someone has a little common sense in this country.

Caz Sep 13, 2013 04:26pm

The shariah is a primitive beduin tribal system of jurisprudence which serves the interest of the rich. THe notion of Qisas is an example of the unjust law of islamic shariah. The crime is committed against the state but primitive islam has not developed to comprehend the concept. It is a western development, like many many others.

Khanm Sep 13, 2013 04:41pm

We are not only maligning the God's name but making the mockery of justice. It is about time the justice has remove the blind fold. Any society void of justice is not worth living in. We the citizen of Pakistan appeal CJ to take appropriate action. I appeal to the nation not to be the silent spectators. Remember tomorrow it could be one of your love ones

arshad Sep 13, 2013 04:46pm

That is very brave. I hope, he carries it through

M Rafique Sep 13, 2013 04:48pm

Chief Justice saheb, What about your son cleared by one person chosen commission

Guest63 Sep 13, 2013 04:55pm

WOW Bravo Sir , Please see to it that they do not get released on this flimsy pretext , pardoned by the president and thus made an example for the other to be killers . Kindly do not let the religion or Mullah's or Mufti's intervention here at all .

jawedeqbal Sep 13, 2013 05:29pm

We are a society bruised and battered,shaken beyond description by the misuse of religion in statecraft. A point is reached which is called a break-point. Let us break free before we fall in the dustbin of history.Dogma & law cant go hand in hand.

Saad(DXB) Sep 13, 2013 06:00pm

Shahzeb's murder was not a private affair between the two families. The two convicted individuals also created terror on the streets on Pakistan's biggest city by killing an innocent young man for a minor argument. For this reason, they were also charged under Anti Terror act and not just under Pakistan Penal Code Section 302. Therefore, even if the parents of the deceased have forgiven Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur, this only means the section 302 of Pakistan Penal Court can be struck off from their charge sheet. They must still be charged under the anti-terror act for crime against the state.

Shahzeb Sep 13, 2013 06:16pm

Shahzeb Khan killer: God had his own way of dealing with such shameless people like shahzeb's killers. May be hanging is to easy a punishment for them. They may be happy now that they have bought their lives with their money. But what they dont know is God may have planned a more horrible end to their lives then hanging. Dont worry they will get what is coming to them.

Taimoor Khan Sep 13, 2013 06:37pm

He is complaining about courts, under whom these courts all over country function? If he can find time to summon someone for the use of word "Sharamnak" , no wonder our courts are the in the pathetic situation. How many terrorist they have send to capital punishment in last 10 years? In this particular case, on technical grounds, does he know the cases under ATC cannot be pardoned as these crimes are against the society as oppose to an individual. He needs to either put up or shut up, judiciary under him has become a big question mark ever since the massive rigging of May 11. while I am at it, he may tell the nation as to what he was doing in Saudi Arabia just before the May election.

Shafaat Sep 13, 2013 06:43pm

Protest by MQM is unjustified...9years of Musharraf rule and 5 years PPP rule gave MQM a free hand for their anti social activities and now when they are arrested then they cry for this...Altaf,Farooq sattar and Babar Ghaouri claim middle class which is wrong..they have a lot of money by Bharat and they must be investigated for that and party must not be allowed to play any role in national politics .

Ali Sep 13, 2013 06:48pm

I salute you Honorable CJ

Mr.T Sep 13, 2013 06:51pm

very well said...

Riaz Sep 13, 2013 06:48pm

Mr. CJP, before leaving the Office ... do something good for Pakistan. Make it a history. Where is Suo Moto when it is really needed? Refuse the appeal to pardon the killer, and ask the jail to deliver the punishment ASAP ... hang the culprit. But I guess, you won't, and even if you do, Mr. Jatoi will not be hanged, and after you leave, the replacement CJP will pardon or the President will pardon the killer. Only if he would have killed Nawaz Sharif's son, or the President's son, then he would have been punished, other than that, he will definitely go free! Hail to our broken justice system, it is merely a mistress for the riches in Pakistan.

Arif Sep 13, 2013 07:50pm

Even if the parents want to forgive the killer, the court should atleast still keep him behind bars forever. The same guy can go out and kill another person! This would be a lesson for other rich elite spoiled sons of rich fathers! What does a poor man do to redeem himself of a murder?

I. Kamal Sep 13, 2013 08:26pm

That's neither here nor there. The CJ should say that the pardon in Shahzeb's case id null and void. Period.

MastermindXOXL Sep 13, 2013 08:30pm

He will get pardon one way or another. Its clear they are listening to the arguments and in the end things will take turn and culprit will enjoy this corrupt nation again.

farid Sep 13, 2013 08:34pm

Get rid off primitive Arab culture.

zak Sep 13, 2013 08:48pm

A murderer must hang and these convicts who show 2 fingers to the world and the courts each time they leave court-must be a example to murderers and must be hung regardless of the paid off parents relatives. The nation of pakistan asks the courts and the police justise for one of its citizens who is not in this world and who is betrayed by his own parents. Shame, shame, shame.specially to the mother.

mike Sep 13, 2013 08:54pm

y everybody is acting surprised a richman gets his son out of a death penalty 180 million most of them doing shady stuff look in the mirror u will c what i am talking about truth hurts and if ur feelings r going to b hurt then u must b doing shady stuff thats y i wrote "most" not All talk to u later inshallah !

Collin Bingle Sep 13, 2013 09:07pm

Pardoning in the name of Allah is a good thing. So lets do like this. These murderes should be hanged, no question about this. And one extra brother or other family member of the murderers should be killed by Shebaz's family and then be pardoned in the name of Allah. How is that? Islamic laws should be implemented after Pakistan becomes a truely muslim society. Why did not the killers pardoned Shehbaz in the name of Allah. You judges will go to Hell for not doing justice. They should be killed brutally and made a lesson for the future killers so that they think twice before committing such crimes.

Collin Bingle Sep 13, 2013 09:12pm

@Guest63: Mullah's intervention should be most welcome, then caught and hanged with the killers so that mullahs keep quite in future.

saadiya Sep 13, 2013 09:22pm

If Shahzebs parents wished to forgive - then they should have forgiven at the time when the murderer had absconded the country and the govt FIA and all had done their best to evade justice.

Once they asked for justice the family was asked what they wanted - they stated JUSTICE . Why did they seek intervention and sympathy - if they wished to forgive.

This decision now seems under duress , and with so much of tax payers money, so many people coming forward for justice - spending their time and risking all

Does the family understand - that now when a murder will take place on the road in front of many people - this case will be quoted

No one will come forward , and no one will believe that justice will prevail

Bravo - to the people who stood up - Bravo karachi you at least tried to make a change at that time

Even a Police DSP has no faith in the system - karachiites where are you now

mohammed Sep 13, 2013 09:34pm

@Caz: Thank you for not knowing the Islam and law of Islam, appreciate if we do not comment on the Deen. I agree this is being misused in today's world but no law of Islam is to support the rich and victimize the poor so we should keep our comments in the limit where we do not start pointing our fingers toward Allah and his Deen. once again I thank you all for understanding

shoaib Sep 13, 2013 09:48pm

@Caz: apparently you didnt follow the previous discussions. qisas and diyat can only b applied if the murder was unintentional. there are specific injunctions which must be fulfilled to qualify for qisas/diyat. Islam is a system that, if properly applied, is for entire way of life, for any generation past of future, though i agree there are certain injunctions which do not apply today as they did in AD 600s. By saying what you have said, you deny God's infinite wisdom.

jaffri Sep 13, 2013 10:01pm

many people predicted this picture at the time of very inception of 'qasas and deat' ordinence

Showkat Ahmad Dar Sep 13, 2013 10:11pm

@Caz: stop this nonsense philosphy and provide justice to the thousands of innocents killed by bloody democracies in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, pakistan and many more.

Mohsin Sep 13, 2013 10:24pm

@Caz: There is no such thing as primitive Islam Read before you speak

Ali Sep 13, 2013 11:04pm

From his track record, most people think he is doing this drama to create some opportunity for his son. I hope this is wrong and this time he is sincere in giving Insaaf which he has not done in last 8 years

Malik Sep 13, 2013 11:16pm

well we don't cut hands of theifs in Pakistan, so why pardon killers.

I. Kamal Sep 13, 2013 11:17pm

It is typical of this CJ to pontificate and give us photo op. speeches instead of decisive action. Courts are meant to speak through their judgments. Why can't he just say that the Shahzeb's murderers can not and will not be pardoned. Period.

Jawwad Sep 13, 2013 11:40pm

One word to describe you people. Neanderthals. One kills in the name of God other pardons in the name of God and none of them is certain if God even exist. If they did, why would they commit these heinous crimes at first place?

zia khan Sep 14, 2013 12:31am

The killers of Shahzaib Khan have exploited the system to divert the course of justice and finally religion has been abused. It is an agreement between between lambs and wolves. No more justice 'Raymond Davis Style'. Chief Justice is requested to requested to ensure that justice is not served in the society selectively.

Saima Sep 14, 2013 12:42am

Let this be the beginning of change in the positive direction. I hope CJ becomes the torch bearer of our society in implementing justice. What grave injustice is this, first these criminals kill your innocent son and then they pressurize you to pardon them on gun point. All my prayers are with the victims family. All I can do is pray, that this time Allah himself comes to earth and teach these ruthless criminals a lesson. Allah is supreme.

Parvez Sep 14, 2013 12:54am

Bold, to the point and to my ears.

Vijay@Toronto Sep 14, 2013 12:55am

@M Rafique: I wasn't aware that CJ's son had murdered an innocent young man. Thanks for the update!

Sad Sep 14, 2013 01:18am

How ironic that a killer may be set free in the name of religion, but anyone who questions it could be killed for blasphemy.

El Cid Sep 14, 2013 02:33am

Shariah Law--ransom, compensation and forgiveness--applies only to accidental death NOT murder in the first degree as in this case and in Raymond Davis case. These were done to cause confusion, repudiate the Noble Qur

concerned citizen Sep 14, 2013 03:55am

You've got to be kidding me! These guys need to be held accountable for the act of murder. It wasn't just a crime against the victim or his family, it was a brutal killing of our society. Its one thing to exercise pardon if someone died inadvertently but this was an intentional killing of another human being. What does it say about our justice system, our civil liberties if killers just say they are sorry and buy themselves out of trouble. This should not be allowed to happen and I hope our criminal justice system realizes the precedent pardoning this guy will set.

Dr. Tariq Mahmood Sep 14, 2013 05:01am

Sharia is not 'primitive' as a reader wrote below. The law of Qisas comes in force in good conscience - provided the family of the deceased is not under pressure to forgive.

I know for certain -with all due respect for the family of the deceased that it is naive to think that the influential family of the killers has not threatened the family of severe consequences were they not to 'forgive'.

I also note the family of the deceased has daughters. This is very serious. I know Pakistan & the feudal families. They have no morals. They would indeed have threatened of dire consequences which CJP is not aware of nor will the family have the courage to stand up. I note the father is a DSP in Police. DSP's are nothing for feudal families- with all due respect.

I also see the killers getting photographed behind bars with a happy & unrepenting look. It's obvious they know their family will make the 'deal'. The photo is shameful & reflects the face of true terror.

The killers should be charged under the Terrorist Act too separately as very correctly noted below.

The CJP should note: he has a duty to dispense justice: "Allah is with the judge as long as he does not commit injustice, for when he does, Allah will make him reliant on himself". Ibn Majah 2 : 775.

I expect the CJP to dispense justice and take the matter in his own hands - not just leave to the Law of Qisas- which is valid in a true Muslim society- not ours- with due respect.

I am a father too. Were my son to have been murdered - I have 2 daughters too; I will strive to see justice served- except when I know I'll pay a hefty price facing these wadairas & possibly lose everything. I would then pray that CJP took it out of my hands & disregard my plea.

Remember Omar bin Khattab was very well versed in the Quran & gave his verdict when a group of 7 from Syria/Shaam killed a boy. His verdict was that he'd order the death of the group.

This matter is above the level of PM/President of the country & the rank of CJP is above both in this matter. I request the CJP to uphold the Law & sentence the killers to face the death sentence. He should order absolute protection of the family of the deceased till ensuring the father of the deceased is protected in his job progression- not that would matter after losing his son forever - but justice has to prevail. It is so ordered in the Quran & Sunan. It should be followed otherwise there are consequences for the CJP in Islam too, which I'll refrain

Raja Sep 14, 2013 10:14am

shahzeb khan and his accomplices should be hanged to death shahzeb family has made the decision due to pressure if you see the program of shahzeb khanzada to the point program

Youth Sep 14, 2013 10:50am

The honorable CJ is quite right.The case of Shahzeb's murder is quite simple a wealthy & influential man is forcibly buying pardon for his spoilt son. There is a similarity with the case where a foreign national killed innocent persons and later on got himself freed through forced buying pardon from the parent. Pardoning this V sign brandishing spoilt child will sow a deep hurting wound in the heart of poor parents whose sons & daughters were murdered by influentials of their areas and further instigate rich spoilt child to have more adventures

Khawaja Sep 15, 2013 12:22am

@Caz: It is clearly stated in the Shariah that if a crime is against the state or promotes crimes in the society (fasad fil arz) then it can not be forgiven under Qisas/Diyat.

So you're talking out of your arse just to criticize Islam.

farooq Sep 15, 2013 06:18am

@jawedeqbal: Hats off to our Chief Justice for his views. He is right.


At this rate, any person can ask a criminal to kill ,say a relative (wife, husband etc.), and then pardon the killer, on receiving money(which the original person may himself/herself earlier given to the murderer. So please, Hon. Chief justice and citizens of Pakistan, let not the murderers be set free .MURDER IS A CRIME AGAINST SOCIETY AT LARGE. Let us not ENCOURAGE SUCH TACTICS.


Khanm Sep 15, 2013 05:08pm

I strongly believe Allah is divine and just. It is one of the characteristic of Allah to be Adeel. I don

Khanm Sep 15, 2013 05:11pm

I strongly believe Allah is divine and just. It is one of the characteristic of Allah to be Adeel. I don

Syed Adeel Haider Sep 15, 2013 09:21pm

In every society laws are made by those who are in power to protect the rich and the powerful and Islam is no exception. Have you ever seen a poor man killing someone and getting away without getting punished using this law? Of course, this law has always existed in the first place only to protect the rich and the powerful. See its applications in countries like Saudi Arabia and the middle east. Rich people torturing their slaves to death and getting pardoned by pressuring and bribing the families of the slaves.

People who favour this law do so because they think it is a divine law. They don't want to use their brains. My question to them is: Why have you been given a brain when you don't want to use it and follow laws and rules blindly without ever having a debate about it?