Shahzeb Khan Case and the Role of Capital Punishment


Shahruk Jatoi

Recently the conclusion of the Shahzeb Khan case has angered a lot of people in Pakistan. People feel that Shahzeb Khan’s family was coerced to pardon Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur, who were earlier sentenced to death by the Anti-Terrorism court.

While this case has received a lot of media and public attention, the outcome is not unfamiliar. From the actual fight between Siraj Talpur and Shahzeb Khan to the car chase and murder of Shahzeb, this incident highlights most of the core issues which need to be addressed by the concerned authorities. These issues include lack of police control and the rule of law, increasing gap and unequal treatment of high, middle and lower classes of the society, lack of swift judicial process and strict punishments, corrupt and incompetent police force, political influence within the law enforcement agencies, lack of strict weapon monitoring and control, lack of effective witness and victim protection programs, the widespread feudal mindset, landlords being considered above the law, lack of good parenting and last but not least, public witnessing a crime as silent spectators instead of mediating or trying to stop the culprit.

One of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is the inability of the police to maintain law and order and uphold the rule of law. One of the steps that can be taken to resolve this issue is the imposition of capital punishment through the public execution of criminals. Capital punishment is a legal process in which a person is sentenced to death as a punishment for his/her crime. In order to control the crime rate, a number of sanctions are imposed on the criminal. The criminal is arrested in order to curb the specific criminal behavior in that region. The criminal is then punished so that he/she doesn’t commit the crime again. Punishment of a single criminal also discourages other criminals from participating in the specific criminal activities. By doing this, the law enforcing agencies draw a line for the public between acceptable and unacceptable actions. Moreover the punishment is equally severe and harmful as the crime, this serves as justice for those who were targeted by the specific crime.

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is an overseas Pakistani who occasionally writes about religion, current affairs and cricket. He tweets @The_Mughal_EZ

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