Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Terrorism and capital punishment

January 01, 2013

THE Amnesty International has asked India to abolish death penalty after reports that Ajmal Kasab was hanged to death in haste.

A bill was already in place in the Lok Sabha, seeking abolition of all executions pending owing to this bill.

But how Kasab’s execution was decided has a story behind. According to Dawn’s New Delhi correspondent, Jawed Naqvi, the now deceased Hindu fundamentalist leader, Bal Thackeray, had taken a word from President Mukherjee during the latter’s presidential election campaign.

Now, referring to the execution of Kasab in Pune on Nov 21, the Amnesty International has written to Mukherjee and sought abolishing the death sentence and immediate moratorium on executions.

It is yet to be seen how the Indian government responds. A similar move is also in process in Pakistan.

Notably, during President Asif Zardari’s tenure not a single execution was made, except one last month. A debate is going on in favour of abolishing the death sentence.

This might be true but it is also noteworthy that not a single terrorist who caused deaths to many has so far been taken to task or at least met with fair trial or prosecuted due to intimidations to police individuals, lawyers and judges by the terrorists.


Abolishing FCR

MOST terrorist activities are perpetuated from Federally-Administered Tribal Areas as they provide a save havens to criminals and offenders. Article 1 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 specifically mentions Fata among the territories of Pakistan.

However, it is a dilemma that even after 65 years of independence Fata is still operated under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) which is the legacy of the British colonial system.

There is a hue and cry every other day on the social media and by politicians themselves that the insurgents are being harboured in Fata and destabilising Pakistan through terrorism and extrajudicial killings.

I wonder why the legislators sitting in parliament don’t pass a bill for abolishing the FCR and suggesting amendments to the relevant provisions of the Constitution in order to bring Fata under the administrative, legislative and judicial control like the rest of the areas of Pakistan.

If Pata can be subjected to national laws and courts, why has undue exemption been granted to Fata from parliamentary control? It is time that those at the helm of affairs seriously pondered over this contentious issue before the fire from Fata engulfs the whole country.