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.

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

  1. Rafiq says:

    Good piece, Pakistan is unfortunate to have lost Salman Taseer

  2. Bangash says:

    @Waseem

    Despite your life in Arab world and travel to Islamic seminars, you sound like a typical Pakistani mullah, short on knowledge and logical arguments and long on bullying and intimidation. Instead of mocking your opponents, put forward a valid argument.

  3. Waseem says:

    @Asif Ali

    I leave the decision to take place between your view and mine on the day of judgement when no one will be able to support the evil.

    If you need references from the Prophet Muhammad Sallu Laho Alaihi Wasallam ‘s life where it was done and further how Salaf and Fuqaha interpreted that, contact me on my email.
    I am ready to shock you with clear statements and proofs from the life of a Person (SAW) perhaps you don’t know much of.
    Additional information that may or may not help you understand me: I have been living in Arab world for a long time and constantly in touch with islamic seminars, lectures over here.. not only that I have been around in Pakistan with various sects and have always asked for hidaya. The Firqa-bazi issue which you guys consider complicated was obviously nothing once I was enlightened. I will never say I’ve been completely guided but I am sure I am much better than many as I asked for guidance and consider myself ignorant.
    Get your facts right about Islam first then comment, do not just use your thoughts.
    And again I will say I have read the story of what has happened but if it is true that this stupid and foolish guy did say something about such a Rule, he deserved a much worst death. And I am sure he is suffering in the hand of angels now for what he has done.

    Our brains are so small that we can’t even imagine the actual Level Rasool SAW was at. It is beyond our understanding. What we gonna do is, try to follow His footsteps, so we may receive His Shafat & Kausar on the day of resurrection. Again get your islamic knowledge facts rights before you proceed with a statement that may end you in hell fire. As you know our our limbs gonna testify for what we spoke. Just wake up at the end of Night, near morning and say just one line “O ALLAH Guide me” then see what happens. Never done it? Try now, as you are still alive and got time unlike the guy who just got murdered.

  4. FE says:

    By using such a language where Qadri is evil and Taseer is good, this article is no different from the fatwas origination from the world inhabited by Aaashiq-e-Rasuls in which Qadri is good and Taseer is evil. For the aashiq-e-taseers, his murder is evil, while for the aashiq-e-rasool’s, insult of the Rasool is evil. A conflict between speaking one’s mind (aashiq-e-taseers), no matter how illogical it is, and the foundations on which the country was founded (to uphold Islam).

  5. Ajmal Niaz says:

    I know one thing Pakistanis over here are also divided on this issue. It seem, either one is strongly in favor or against it. Very few are neutral. This may be due to lack of complete knowledge of the case (like the case, Saman’s stand etc.).

    In my opinion, world has changed from 1923. We need to grow up. Do we want to force people to believe our beliefs?

    If Allah said, he will take care of insults, can not we rely on Him?

    Enough is enough.

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