Is “hang ’em all” always the answer?

Published: November 4, 2011

Working as a part of the web team at The Express Tribune has given me  exposure to peoples’ reactions online which always tend to take me by surprise. However, during this week, after the spot-fixing verdict story was shared on Facebook, I was more than just a little surprised by the harsh, emotional and blunt responses that came from a majority of readers. They were thirsty for the trio’s blood – literally.

One commenter, Usama Zulfiqar, proposed capital punishment for the players which began a flood of comments that agreed with him – most readers were demanding Asif and Butt be “hanged”.

While the news saddened, enraged and infuriated the officials in Pakistan Cricket Board, cricket lovers in Pakistan had an entirely different approach to the news.

Zulfiqar had written:

“Simply hang them. Why worry about prison or a fine when they did not worry about the stake of their country!”

Other readers followed with similar angry demands and soon the thread was full of “hang ‘em all”. People like Aamir Zia strongly felt “they should be stoned to death.”

The spot-fixing scandal seems more to do with the national dignity than cricket ethics for Pakistanis. Zulqarnain Shinwari said:

“It should be dealt as treason, I hate them.”

His words echo those of captain, Shahid Afridi who had said that the incident “damaged the country’s reputation.”

Evidently, Pakistanis are not concerned with what is legal and what is not. Instead, you will find many of them saying:

“Qoum k muun pe kalak mal di (They brought shame to the nation).”

Sometimes our rage and desire for vengeance leads us to become inhumane and brutal in our approach. People should treat this issue as any other criminal move and accept the punishments that Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been awarded.

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Sidrah Moiz Khan

The author is a sub-editor at The Express Tribune.

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

  •!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    “they should be stoned to death.”

    Who doesn’t like getting stoned? Maybe not to death. Well… maybe if you have cancer. Recommend

  • B

    Pakistanis don’t have any concept of empathy. Try placing yourself in someone else’s shoes once in a while. ‘Hanging’ and ‘stoning to death’ are inhumane, brutal and outdated means of applying the law.Recommend

  • Majid Urrehman

    You did not write the complete sentence, it’s actually, “Hate politics, love Imran Khan. Hang ‘em all” Recommend

  • Natasha Suleman

    You spoke my mind. Don’t know what people think before making such stupid comments. Ofcourse the trio has disgraced the nation but look into yourselves before saying ‘Latka do’ people! How innocent are you when it comes to embarassing Pakistan in some way or the other? I condemn them for what theyve done but I dont think they deserve being humiliated ‘as much’ as they have been in the past few days. Recommend

  • Baqar

    Its frustration lady…..oozing frustration. We see such extreme responses like mob lynching and stuff because the corruption kings rule us and even though we want to get rid of them we cant because of shattered unity.
    Such responses actually tell us that we want to do this to our rulers.Recommend

  • Ali Tipu

    Welcome to Pakistan where pride and ‘Ghairat’ of the nation is associated with a game of cricket. No matter how filthy are we from inside, doing corruption on daily basis, stealing money from poor, industrialists thriving on illegally built empires, all sorts of mafias (sugar, transport, wheat ) sucking the blood of the people, taking kickbacks and commissions , embarrassing ourselves in the world but we wont just be ashamed of these things. We would be ashamed of a martic pass 19 years old who made a mistake of being bought up in a society of thieves,criminals and hypocrites. In my view, a thief cant ask a thief about his wrongdoings.Its not a question of honor and ‘Ghairat’. This is a blatant ignorance of a hypocritical society (mob) that despite being loathed for corruption around the world always tries to find a scapegoat to let out its frustration. Nothing more, nothing less than that. On a side note, I hope Amir learns from this and not lose his faith. I hope someday he makes a comeback and sets positive example for the world. At least I dont judge people by the mistake they make, but by what they do after that.Good luck to him. Recommend

  • Mehak I. Ali

    I totally agree with Sidrah. Every other person is found saying ‘mulk badar kar do unhein – latka daalo in (abuse) ko’, ‘yeh to kam saza thi, aur zyada honi chahye thi’. They just simply think that hanging them is the solution to all of the problems caused.
    Who are we to decide what should be done with these cricketers? Where were these so called ghairatmand Pakistanis when they themselves did illegal activities? Yesterday only they burned Salman Butt’s and Mohammad Asif’s posters. What about Amir’s? Maybe these illiterate people should realize what our cricketers might be going through in prison right now. PCB doesn’t even care about them!
    We know what they did was seriously wrong – but we still do not know if they ACTUALLY did play a part in the spot-fixing. Its not right to humiliate someone to such an extent that they feel helpless. Maybe its time we should help straighten their aims and not be this cruel to them because at the end of the day, they represent us.
    I’m just hoping when they come back they don’t wear burqas.Recommend

  • Dr.jobless

    Lifetime ban + 10 years imprisonment for both Asif and Salman. That should’ve sufficed.
    As for the baby bowler, 6 months imprisonment and a chance to SPEAK.
    What the hell does he mean when he says ‘jab main boloon ga to duniya sunay ge’
    Ehem, you have been proven guilty dear child. You blurted it out yourself. THAT was the time for the speaking part.Recommend

  • waseem

    oh yes… good that someone wrote on it.. Thank you,
    Pakistan public/media/politics all are corrupt, they all are illiterate (including media), they all are hypocraites, and they all are terrorirst. We want everyone to be killed/ hanged. Yet when someone comes and do justice we kick them out.. for example in the case of Qadri, the lawyers burned his office and didn’t go to his courts. These lawyers should be charged for contempt of court and put behind the bars right now.. but no…. HANG THE JUDGe..
    anywayz point being our media is stupid, our media doesn’t know the meaning of news, they just want spices in their curry, not caring about the consequences afterwards.. our media should not show these comments on tv, we should not just record a video where men/women are walking and don’t want to be on TV, its against my rights and i should go to court for that.. Like yesterday a tv channel was saying how some people go to landa bazar but they don’t admit it so they asked couple ppl.. well if they don’t admit it you do not have to show it to the world.. how are you going to feel if i come and start recrding a video tape of your family in your room and show it on tv.. so media please learn how to behave in a civilized manner Recommend

  • Sajid I.Barcha

    So basically Pakistanis think that three spot fixers have brought more shame to Pakistan than…
    1. A police man who shot the person he ought to protect, like a coward form behind, and half the country showered him in the rose petals.
    2. OBL’s presence in the heart of Pakistan
    3. Journalists being murdered for saying the truth
    4. 8th graders being outcasted for spelling mistakes
    5. teenagers lynched on the street while a hundred Ghairatmand Pakistanis watched and picket their nose
    6. People being expelled from school for their religion

    “All Politicians should be hanged in public, Imran Khan is last hope (sic)”Recommend

  • vickram

    Till recently all these guys were shouting that there was a conspiracy from BCCI and ICC to prevent Pakistan becoming number one in all formats. Most of the commenters here then were of the view that their players can no do wrong.

    Now they want them to be hanged? I think the society as a whole lacks balance. It seems all they know is to either deny or kill.

    If I were PCB, I will ask the tainted players to do community service. I will ask them, once they are released from prison, to go to schools and colleges and ask them to talk to young kids about the importance of integrity, morality and ethics in life.

    That is the best way to get them rehabilitated. Hanging them may satisfy our bloodthirsty instincts, but they won’t help the society in any way.Recommend

  • antanu

    good article…fully agree with the blogger. Recommend

  • goggi

    In Pakistan the sense of blood-revenge is very strong. Killing a human for some xy pseudo cause is just as (ab)normal as slaughtering innocent animals without any repentance. Recommend

  • Cynical

    Thank you lady.
    Very humane.Compliments.Recommend

  • FN

    Ghairat Brigade Zindabad! Recommend

  • Faysal

    Ever heard of trolls anyone? A troll online is probably a jerk offline too :PRecommend

  • Shahid3

    Salman Butt in particular is pouring oil on the fires of revulsion by stonewalling and not admitting to even a smidgen of criminality on his part. This greedy and jealous creep who unlike the other 2 grew up in a large “capital of culture” is the perfect product of the hypocritical ethos that has come to hold sway in Pakistan over the last 2-3 decades: Never admit to wrongdoing, never back off even an inch. In the atmosphere of religious hypocrisy that is second nature to so many (anyone recall the ostentatious sajda that he used to offer upon even reaching 50?) the national motto has changed to a maxim of Tacitus: “Crime once exposed has no refuge but audacity.”Recommend

  • aliya

    Salman Butt was the captain of our National team. He represented Pakistan. He was to be the role model for our youngsters. He has betrayed our country and shamed us all in front of the world..Because of Salman Butt actions our young chiildren in Uk are being taunted at school. Salman Butt should have a trial in Pakistan and should also be punsihed in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Ahmad Fuad

    They should not be hangged. They should be punished & guided for what they did.
    However PCB & Government of Pakistan needs to develop such a system that secures Pakistan from such issues in future.
    Players should mover forward by keeping good days of cricket in mind.

    My details point of view can be found

  • Zeeshan

    We should look around several other people who represented Pakistan on different forums but they let the whole nation down…….!
    Instead of blaming our cricketers we should raise our voices about corrective measures to be taken to ensure flawless ICC’s system…..please don’t forget these cricketers were the one who also make us proud on several other occasions.Recommend

  • Umer Farooq

    Hang them all,,,,,and see the rest wont even think about treason…Recommend

  • Tahir

    They committed a mistake and have been punished for that. They have definitely hurt the national pride and disappointed the nation but do we think they are the only culprits out there? Critics, both home and abroad have revealed that cricketers from around the world are guilty of similar offences but have been lucky since there are no proofs against them. In a way they have committed the same crime and thus should merit the same response ‘hang them all….” but do we hear such rhetoric from public of those countries?
    In my reckoning, most of the readers here have vented out their anger and disappointed and they do not literary mean to hang them! They are in fact victim of ’emotional cum inflammatory-response syndrome’ to which this nation is generally hostage to! The remaining ‘those’ who might mean it in literal sense are imbalanced souls who need to visit nearest Mental Health Facility as soon as possible! Recommend