‘Hanging won’t absolve govt of hard decisions’


Rights activist and former SCBA president Asma Jahangir. — AFP/File
Rights activist and former SCBA president Asma Jahangir. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Rights activist and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir says hanging of a few convicts will not absolve the government of taking some hard policy decisions on the security paradigm or to revamp the criminal justice system.

In a statement issued on Friday, she said the government decision to execute prisoners who were awarded death penalty for terrorism could well be understood under the present circumstances where emotions were high and there was anger against terrorists. However, she said, such a measure was simply sidetracking the issue.

Also read: Death for terrorism

“Terrorism does not disappear with revenge tactics but through making justice and equality before law a reality,” she added.

Ms Jahangir said that in the past, the knee-jerk reaction to terrorism had been to pass harsh laws, giving security forces a free hand to eliminate or arrest anyone on suspicion of being a terrorist. This practice only eroded legal protection, she said.

She stated the powerful walked away free after murder while the vulnerable could easily get death under the weak judicial system. She believed the policy makers should take the recent tragedy as a warning to eruption of more violence and wisely devise strategies that would reduce terror attacks.

Published in Dawn December 20th , 2014