CIVIL SOCIETY DEMANDS THE GOVERNMENT RE-VISIT THE QISAS AND DIYAT ORDINANCE OF 1990
Safeguard of fundamental rights and security is the right of every Pakistani citizen. It is the duty and responsibility of the State to ensure us our fundamental rights which are indivisible and inalienable. The current legal position for the crime of murder is not that it is an offence against the State but rather, being a compoundable offence, it enables the heirs of the victim to pardon the perpetrator or accept compensation. This not only pierces the social-contract theory between State and citizens but also makes such laws a subject of constant abuse and manipulation.
Over the past three years two major cases have come forward that have highlighted gross miscarriage of justice at a notable national level: one was the notorious case of Raymond Davis and the other the recent case of Shahzeb. This brings forth the despondent fact that the State laws are inadequate in providing justice to the victims of the crime of murder. Such laws have become the province of the rich and powerful who can easily exploit economic disparity and buy their way out of the crimes committed. A law which gives impunity to the rich and powerful is not an equitable law. We condemn this current legal disposition in strong words! Any law to be used as a tool to exploit the poor and vulnerable cannot be based on the precepts of equality and justice as enshrined in our Constitution.
We request the current government to re-visit the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance of 1990 and ensure sufficient mechanisms within the law to achieve justice and equality for all as per our Constitutional rights guaranteed under Articles 3, 9 and 25. Murder should be a crime against the State and the State should take all measures to bring justice to the footsteps of the victims and their families.
Signed by Civil Society Organizations and Individuals: