Killings without an institutional mechanism to ensure accountability is cruelty. Even the fairest of courtrooms are likely to commit errors 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. Even Quran says “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind” (Qur’an, 5:32). No civilized society( read Constitution of Medina) 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 Naqeebullah murdered. The police officer had been untouchable during the MQM cleanup years, and as expected, was thoroughly corrupted as “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. I’ll give you seven reasons why extrajudicial killing is disastrous for a country:-
It perpetuates the root cause of violence in society. As it is a quick fix, 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 bumping 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 the state. Any constitutional clause violated renders the whole country’s existence meaningless
It maintains the status quo as far as the disparities in 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 the judicial process, and letting the 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 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. Society becomes vulnerable to these vultures. Execute sanctioned Killings only scar society further.
Whether Rao Anwar did a good job cleaning up Malir through his “encounter specialist” technique is beside the point. The damage to Pakistani society suffered as a consequence of innocent Naqeebullah Mehsud’s treacherous death will haunt our already traumatized society for a long time.