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Of Naqeeb Mehsud and effect of extrajudicial killings

Killings without an institutional mechanism to ensure accountability, is cruelty.

Even the fairest of courtrooms are likely to commit error of judgment in awarding death sentences, so extrajudicial killing is absolutely unacceptable in a civilized society.

It is an extremely flawed way to dispense justice; something resembling the wild-west.

No civilized society can hope to flourish under tyranny, injustice and abuse of power, and extrajudicial killings represent all three. SSP Rao Anwar abused his power when he had Naqeeb Mehsud was murdered.

The police officer had been untouchable during the nineties, and as expected, was thoroughly corrupted as “absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

Here are some reasons why extrajudicial killing is disastrous for a country.

It perpetuates the root cause of violence in the society. As it is a quick fix, the society maintains its old trajectory, oblivious of the reasons for violence.

No one feels the need to look deeper into the root cause of disturbance that required extrajudicial killing. The same conditions appear again and again.

Violence begets violence. Harsh measures always come back around.

If government functionaries are used to bump off nuisances, it inevitably leads to reprisal attacks. A slow but firm judicial process also acts as a cooler for frayed tempers.

Government loses legitimacy in the eyes of the people.

Every country has a constitution that guarantees justice and a society free of fear. Such killings defeat the purpose of having an independent constitution, a judiciary, a legislature and the essential pillars of state. Any constitutional clause violated renders the whole country’s existence meaningless.

It maintains status quo as far as the disparities in the society is concerned. As mostly the ones getting killed are from the less-powerful segment, the dominant class maintains its grip on the subjects.

It’s dictatorial and gives impunity.

The person ordering the killing is basically acting as the judge, jury and executioner, all rolled into one. This makes the person dictatorial and despotic. No civilized society can evolve under despotic rule.

It’s incompetence when instead of funding forensics, supporting judicial process and letting law take its course, immature leaders use killings to get instant results. It shows poor leadership.

Even one innocent killed is disastrous

The guilt and shame the society suffers as a consequence of killing an innocent victim is very bad for morale. Inevitably, an innocent person does get killed because there are always hyenas on the fringe of the society waiting for lawlessness like this to further their cause. The society becomes vulnerable to these vultures. Execute sanctioned Killings only scar the society further.

Some major example of extrajudicial killings sanctioned by some states are the drone attacks to eliminate extremists, as seen by the US government.

Even a layman can see that drones directed from several thousands of miles away are prone to error. Who would account for one innocent person who would eventually be murdered?

The second example is the anti-drug encounters allegedly sanctioned by President Duterte of Philippines.

Dead bodies lying on the streets shot on suspicion of drug peddling seems more likely to terrorize the public than deter drug cartels.

Instead of investing in better societal morals, Pres. Duterte preferred the quick fix. This is unlikely to succeed, as short cuts usually don’t.

Whether Rao Anwar did a good job cleaning up Malir through his “encounter specialist” technique is beside the point.

The damage Pakistani society suffered as a consequence of innocent Naqeebullah Mehsud’s death, will haunt our already traumatized society for a long time.

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