I fully endorse the views expressed in your editorial dated of November 4, on the subject of death penalty. It has been many years since Amnesty International launched a hectic campaign to end capital punishment. The campaign did not gain much success because the sane minded nations knew full well that ‘punishment was the best deterrent’ to squash crime. One wonders why Amnesty International is more sympathetic to the criminals than the grief stricken families whose dear ones are killed by them.

Although Pakistan has not succumbed to the pressure of abolishing death penalty, President Zardari was somehow impressed by exponents of this demand and declared that ‘no hanging will take place during his reign’. The result showed that the crime rate in Pakistan reached an ever high during the last five years. As the result of this leniency killing a person became more fun. Pick up a few newspapers and you will find the alarming news like, consequent to an altercation a person killed his cousin in DHA Lahore, in Kahna area an 11 years old boy was killed after sexual assault, in Old Anarkali two robbers tried to rob a tailor shop and killed its owner on resistance, it goes on and on. All these murders are taking place because the killers know that ‘they will not be punished’. In view of this situation prevailing in the country even the mere thought of abolishing death sentence would be a sin.

In countries where the death penalty exists, rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are considered punishable by death. In Saudi Arabia 79 criminals were put to death last year while the tally of people executed during the current year has reached 63. In comparison, the above mentioned crimes having become a daily ritual in Pakistan, no execution has taken place for years. How can we crush crime then?

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, November 13.