Justice for Salman Taseer: Imagine If …

Posted on January 6, 2011
Filed Under >Tamashbeen, Law & Justice, Politics
97 Comments
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Tamashbeen

This post is based on an imaginary scenario.

Imagine Pakistan was a very different place. Imagine that it had politicians (not all, just a few, maybe one or two in government and one or two in opposition) who actually cared for Pakistan and made decisions based on what would be good for the country instead of just useful to their own hold on power.

I have probably already lost half of you, but let me keep going anyhow.

Imagine, what might happen in such a Pakistan in response to the brutal murder of Salman Taseer by the evil Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri?

What might the government do if it were really and truly serious about giving justice to Salman Taseer and rolling back the intolerance and extremism that gunned him down?

Let me suggest five things that would happen if Pakistan was, indeed, a functional state and society.

Instead of the emotional slogans, false tears, and petty political point-scoring that we are now seeing, here are a few things that might have happened if Pakistan was the place we all want it to be, but is not (starting from the easiest and moving to the most important):

  1. The immediate culprit – Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri – would be immediately and swiftly (that is critical) tried in a court of law and given the full punishment under the law. Justice which is transparent, fair, and speedy should be done, and seen to be done.
  2. All opportunities to turn the murderer into a public hero would be denied to him and his ‘fans.’ This means, no access to media, no opportunities to be garlanded, no occasions to shout slogans to TV cameras, etc. There are lots of simple means to do so and the media would be banned – for national sanity reasons – from reporting directly on his, running footage of him, or in any way projecting him. The purpose would be not to restrict information, but to resist misinformation on a pending case.
  3. Immediate investigation would be undertaken against all who had instigated violence and murder, issued fatwas, or in any ways created the inducement or provided encouragement to commit violence against Salman Taseer or others in relation to the blasphemy issue. This would certainly include, at a minimum, those evil jokers who were publicly offering money for murder but would also include an immediate and swift investigation into those on the media who had contributed to instigation and hysteria and inflamed emotions with violent rhetoric and also those political or public figures (including so-called ‘ulemas‘) who may have directly instigated violence in the name of this issue at any public rally. These investigations would swiftly lead to arrests, trials, and full punishment under incitement to violence laws.
  4. Anyone justifying murder, glorifying the murderer, or creating public incitement on this issue in the aftermath of the murder would be swiftly arrested, tried and given full punishment under the law. This could require large number of arrests to crush illegal rallies, etc., and the government would be ready to take that principled stand. This would also include full legal action against any media person using the media to justify the breaking of the law or the act of murder (for example, by arguing – directly or indirectly – that the murder of Salman Taseer was justified).
  5. The government would immediately move to repeal, or at least review the Blasphemy law itself and swiftly bring needed changes to it so that its spirit is not misused or made subject to vigilantism. This would be the least that could be done to honor the memory of Salman Taseer.

None of these would be easy to do, even in a saner Pakistan. But ‘difficult’ is never an excuse not to do what is ultimately ‘right.’

I do not really expect our current political leaders to do the right thing, on this issue or any other; or to give justice to Salman Taseer, or me. But at least I can try to push the conversation away from the inanities I hear on the TV and read in newspapers and towards a sense of what the ‘right’ thing to do would be, even if in an imaginary Pakistan.

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97 responses to “Justice for Salman Taseer: Imagine If …”

  1. Kashifiat says:

    For Salman Taseer

    دیکھو مجھے جو دیدہ عبرت نگاہ ہو

  2. MUNIB says:

    @FE
    Its not about ” Qadri is evil and Taseer is good ”
    its simply about TERRORIST QADRI and INNOCENT TASEER, one this is quite simple to say for the simple reason that Mr. Qadri has taken all the responsibility for killing this innocent man. No rocket science required here to do the complex math.

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