Shahzeb Khan Case and the Role of Capital Punishment

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يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنْثَىٰ بِالْأُنْثَىٰ ۚ فَمَنْ عُفِيَ لَهُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ شَيْءٌ فَاتِّبَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَدَاءٌ إِلَيْهِ بِإِحْسَانٍ ۗ ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ فَمَنِ اعْتَدَىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَهُ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“O you who believe! Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment) is prescribed for you in case of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But if the killer is forgiven by the brother (or the relatives, etc.) of the killed against blood money, then adhering to it with fairness and payment of the blood money, to the heir should be made in fairness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. So after this whoever transgresses the limits (i.e. kills the killer after taking the blood money), he shall have a painful torment.” [2:178]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever is killed or is wounded, has the choice of three things, and if he wants the fourth then restrain him. He may kill (the killer), or forgive him, or take the diyah (blood money).” [Narrated by Abu Dawood].

To conclude, I would like to say that Shahzeb Khan is gone, we cannot change the past and we cannot bring him back to life. However, it is our responsibility to prevent the Shahrukh Jatois from killing many Shahzeb Khans in the future. Capital punishment through public execution is the best mechanism available for this purpose. If the opponents of the death penalty have a better deterrence mechanism, they are more than welcome to try it. But unfortunately, so far they have been all talk and no action. Since 2008 only one person has been executed by the Pakistani authorities as a punishment for his crime. If the law enforcing agencies and judicial authorities are serious and honest in their claims about fighting crime and upholding the rule of law in the country, they need to reintroduce capital punishment through public execution as soon as possible.

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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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