By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
European Union does not have any problems with Pakistan executing its convicted criminals (see email below). EU is doing business and have full diplomatic ties with USA, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, who have public hangings and executions – capital punishment. EU can not single out Pakistan on this matter but Pakistani politicians lied about this to people. I personally wrote to the European Union and it replied to me in hours as an urgent matter. `
A woman sitting in her broke down car was gang raped on 9 September 2020, on the side of the road in front of her young children raised serious questions about the security of citizens and performance of the Punjab Police. A five year old girl was raped and killed in Karachi same week is another tragic incident and incompetence of highly politicised Sindh Police. The conviction rate of criminals is in favour of criminals. Both President Asif Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif governments lied to the people of Pakistan by saying ‘if Pakistan execute its convicted criminals EU will stop aid and business with Pakistan’ and put a unilateral moratorium on executions of criminals and terrorists.
Hanging (capital punishment) of criminals is legal in Pakistan and is ranked fifth after the People’s Republic of China, Iran (public hangings), Saudi Arabia (public executions) and the United States. The European Union continue to do business with Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and USA. How is it possible that the EU would only discriminate and force Pakistan who is fighting a bloody war since 2001?
During Zardari’s democratic rule from March 2008 to March 2013 in Pakistan 65,446 murdered, 16,448 women raped (including gang rapes), and 88,161 kidnappings according to National Crime Data (NCD).
It seems for that very reason Nawaz Government did not extend the moratorium but quietly put ‘a ban on executions’ of over 8000 criminals waiting to be hanged. The EU and USA has no problem with the Islamic Sharia Laws as they have benefited from them when US Citizen Raymond Davis was released from all murder charges of two Pakistani citizens after paying the ‘blood money’ to the families of the victims.
The Presidential moratorium imposed by Asif Zardari expired on 30th June 2013 and the government announced it had no plan to extend it. The government stated there would be no general amnesty for the convicts waiting for execution.
When PPP leader Asif Zardari said, ‘democracy is the best revenge’. He meant his style of revenge from all Pakistanis i.e. he banned hanging of murders and criminals on the one hand and gave free hand to criminals, mafias in Pakistan and turned it into Criminalistan.
When the above killings, kidnapping and rapes were happening Zardari Government and later Nawaz Sharif continued ban on executions of the criminals awarded sentences by the courts of Pakistan and have used their all appeal rights.
First Zardari Government and later Nawaz Sharif government continued to lie to the people of Pakistan. They told people of Pakistan that reason behind the Presidential ban on hanging of murderers was due to the pressures from European Union. That was never been the case in 2008 and also in 2014. The European Union never pressurised Pakistan and/or asked to ban on executions of criminals awarded punishments by the courts of Pakistan.
In the aftermath of the Peshawar Massacre of Children in School and in response to a query The European Union wrote on 19/12/14 and within hours European Union sent me the following response after consulting their experts:
Dear Dr (Shahid) Qureshi
“Pakistan was granted a Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade arrangement as from 1 January this year (2104). The moratorium on executions is not a GSP + precondition and is not part of any of the 27 core conventions under the GSP+ scheme.
That being said, in the process leading up the granting of GSP+ by the EU, and as part of Pakistan’s effort to show its commitment and willingness to make significant progress on human rights, the Government of Pakistan undertook to maintain the de facto moratorium, which has been in place since 2008.
The position of the EU is well known: we are against the death penalty in all circumstances because we believe it is not an effective deterrent and is an irreversible form of punishment.
After the horrific massacre in Peshawar, the EU High Representative and European Commission Vice President Frederica Mogherini issued a statement expressing her shock and heartfelt condolences, reiterating the commitment of the EU to tackle the threat posed by terrorism and to further assist the Pakistani Government.”
I sent the above European Union response to British Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Amjad Malik for comment.
He said: “Lifting ban on moratorium does not affect GSP plus status as long as Pakistan is committed to improvement on human rights and due process of law”.
I sent following request to the Government of Pakistan via their Press attache Muneer Ahmad at The Pakistan High Commission in London at the same time on 19/12/2014. I have not received any response from them till filing of this article 10/09/2020. Pakistani foreign minister keep on misquoting to public and I have personally wrote and send this email to H.E Nafees Zakria, High Commissioner of Pakistan in London after the statement from foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement in London few months ago.
“EU warning of ban on Executions in Pakistan: I am writing to enquire about the above statements made in Pakistani media that: EU threatened to put trade restrictions on Pakistan if it continue with executions of criminals and murderers? Can you please provide background to this information and evidence if possible when did it happen and what was the context as soon as possible.”
According to the latest reports corrupt and incompetent politicians of Pakistan are still not seeing the gravity and dangers Pakistan facing from the criminals as well as terrorists. They are trying to hide behind the EU or some human rights organisations as an excuse to further delay the executions for no other reason that they themselves have been involved in crimes. They are detached with the reality, as they feel safe in police protections. Over 2500 policemen are protecting PM Nawaz Sharif’s family among them 19 policemen are keeping an eye on his pet peacocks. Eight policemen of Punjab Police were suspended after a wild cat killed one of his peacocks. That cat was shot dead by the Punjab police.
All the criminals are patronised by the politicians and mafias. These criminal mafias are providing shelters and protections to the terrorists, as they cannot operate in a vacuum? These mafias have become national security threat to Pakistan. They are responsible for harbouring and financing terrorist as well as become tool for the foreign agents. Armed Forces are not designed to fight with these mafias, which is fully backed, by judiciary and police. As a result we see jail breaks en mass, we see witnesses murdered, terrorist and criminals released and most worrying trend is that these mafias are now offering services to foreign powers and getting paid in foreign banks.
In Pakistan crime against person and property are on the rise the average of 24.12% as compared to the figure of 2007. Pakistan’s corrupt police and judicial system especially at lower level seemingly have contributed to the causalities among the armed forces fighting with the terrorists and security forces. Corrupt officials at all levels have made the infiltration of enemies with the ranks and files, which resulted in the huge increase in the deaths of armed forces. Police corruption has made the job of the anti terror personnel not only difficult but almost impossible with the emergence of various criminal mafias and syndicates. Terrorism in Pakistan is now self financing through land grabbing, drugs, extortion and white collar crimes in stock exchanges, money laundering.
The politicians have left Army to deal with everything from floods, earthquakes, famine and terrorism as well as minding the international borders while politicians are busy in all kinds of corruption, minting money and buying properties abroad.
The politicians must know that clock is ticking and they don’t have any idea what is attached with it. So time to act now before it is too late.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015, Azerbaijan2020, 2018 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He did MA from the Government College Lahore. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China.)
Views expressed are not of The London Post