Terrorist Compromise? Peace Deal between LeJ and TeJ!


Peace Deal, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Tehrik-e-Jafferia,

A deal termed as “Peace Truce” was struck between the Sunni and Shia militant outfits Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Tehrik-e-Jafferia (TeJ) respectively, as a result of which the Punjab authorities on Thursday cancelled the hanging of a convicted sectarian militant Ikramul Haq Lahori, after the victim’s family pardoned him. Ikramul Haq Lahori (mistakenly identified as Akram Lahori the co-founder of LeJ in print and electronic media) had been sentenced to death by the Anti-Terrorism court in 2004, after being convicted for killing a Shia Muslim Nayyar Abbas – a gunman of Altaf Hussain Shah in 2001.

It was learned through PKKH sources that after the government’s announcement to lift a six-year moratorium on death penalty in terrorism cases, followed by the commencement of hanging of the convicted terrorists and agreement of all political parties of Pakistan in APC to form military courts, compelled the local leadership of both banned militant organizations, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat) and Tehreek-e-Jafferia to join hands in order to save their people involved in sectarian killing from getting the death penalty. Asif Muavia, Hafiz Khalid and Hatim Ali of LeJ met the leaders of Tehreek-e-Jafferia and reached an agreement that TeJ will pardon Ikramul Haq Lahori, Sarwar, Shabbir and two other Lashker-e-Jhangvi members facing death sentence, currently detained in city Jail Jhang. In return LeJ will pardon Ishaq Asgher Shah and Liaqat Hussain Jafferi, also facing death sentence for their involvement in sectarian killings.

Some other reports suggests that 4 cases had been settled in this meeting in which LeT pardoned the murderer of Maulvi Mukhtar Siyal (father of Asif Muavia) to save the life of Ikramul Haq Lahori and for the rest of the three cases, LeJ paid blood money of Rs. 900,000 (Rs.300,000 per case) to TeJ for the victims families.

LeJ and TeJ are two banned sectarian militant groups, involved in killing of the other group’s activists, including the top tier leadership on either side. Since 1989 in 3000 incidents of  sectarian violence, around 5000 people have been killed in Pakistan; LeJ and TeJ are involved in majority of these incidents. On one hand this deal has been welcomed by the people of Pakistan with a hope that this will end sectarian violence in Pakistan, as both parties announced the deal was made for the better future of Pakistan, but on the other hand it raised some serious questions about the justice system of Pakistan and the Fatwa’s of both sects in which they have declared each other as “Kafir” and “Wajib ul Qatal”.

As far as the legal status of these cases is concerned, according to the Justice system of Pakistan, if the family of the victim pardons the murderer in the case registered under Section 302, then mostly compromise is also accepted by the court and the murderer is set free but if the case is also registered under the section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) then there arises two possibilities:

1: If the cases of 302 and ATC are separately registered then the compromise will only be accepted in section 302 because the family of the victim is the applicant in the case registered under section 302 and state is applicant in the case registered under section 7 of ATA.

2: If both the sections (section 302 and section 7 of ATA) are applied in a single case then the compromise will be applied on both sections but still the judge will have discretionary power to reject the compromise and announce the punishment.

As all the sectarian violence cases are registered under the section 7 of ATA of 1997, it is the responsibility of the government of Pakistan to make sure that these murderers should not exploit the justice system of Pakistan and guilty persons must be punished to make a statement that there is no room for sectarian violence in Pakistan. Thousands of innocent people have been killed in sectarian violence but when the time comes to punish these murderers of innocent people, the leadership of both militants groups join hands to save the people of their groups from capital punishment!

On the other hand, a suicide attack in an Imam Bargah of Rawalpindi on the next day of the peace agreement between these two sectarian groups, in which 5 people were killed, clearly illustrates that the enemies of Pakistan are not happy will the peace agreement between these two groups, who have always been used by them to stir sectarian violence in the effort to destabilize Pakistan.

This peace deal between LeJ and TeJ could be considered as the initial achievement of the government of Pakistan after it decided to lift the moratorium on death penalty in terror cases and decided to establish military courts, in order to punish the people involved in terrorism activities in Pakistan. Peace in Pakistan can only be achieved when these terrorist will be dealt with an iron fist, not only by the security forces of Pakistan but also by the judiciary and government of Pakistan. Showing leniency towards terrorists by the government, judiciary, media or any other pillar of the state will prolong the process of the elimination of terrorism from Pakistan.

Disscuss this topic on Defence.pk

Atiq is an IT professional, his area of interest are Socio-Politico issues of subcontinent and regional security issues with a special focus on Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Can be reached at atiq@pkkh.tv and tweets at @atiqpkkh.

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