Sialkot lynching: Hang ’em all

Published: September 21, 2011
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If our streets need to flow with blood, at least let it be the blood of the unjust…kill em' all I say.

“An eye for an eye makes the world blind…but with so much injustice around us, perhaps blindness is preferable.” [J Haque]

After a total of 401 days, the Sialkot lynching case has come to an end with an outcome that is perhaps as grisly as the event that took place – death sentences for seven of those involved, and I for one fully support the verdict.

In fact, just to play judge, jury and executioner, (as is our classic Pakistan ka haal) I would also like to know why the other six involved, and particularly the policemen who stood by and watched the murder of those two brothers get off with lighter sentences.

Hang them too.

As I write this I am torn inside, facing the inevitable Pakistani condition. I am against capital punishment. I abhor it, on principle. Yet here in this Godforsaken land, where murderers roam around scot free, where innocent men and women are pulled off buses, lined up and shot, where our corrupt and partisan courts are so focused on other agendas they have no time to mete out justice…

Kill em’ all I say.

I remember former president Musharraf saying “Pakistan is not ready for democracy” in 2007. No matter how warped that statement, I understand where that sentiment comes from now. We are not ready to abolish capital punishment – in fact, we as a nation seem to be stuck in some post-Neanderthal state where the only solution to murder is vengeance (or justice) so foul and harsh that the entire tribe shuts up and learns not to kill again.

We are all part of the Sialkot lynch mob in our own varying ways. We behave like manic school yard bullies, lynching others over petty differences or a lousy cricket match. How does one treat such a bully? Are we really at the place where we can address the underlying insecurities and/or deprivation (educational, economic etc) of the school yard bully, or are we at the stage where at best, we can expel the bully permanently and thus ensure no one will bully again?

I think the courts have answered that one for us. We are in the midst of a pathetic state of affairs and a pathetic, but necessary verdict has been passed in the case of Mughees and Muneeb. But what more can one expect from our sad nation that has gone completely off its rocker.

If our streets need to flow with blood, at least let it be the blood of the unjust…and (in true Pakistani style) please dear Fate, let me be on the winning side.

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Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.