Deterrent death sentences to curb terrorism

IN yet another manifestation of unflinching commitment to rid the country of the menace of terrorism, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif confirmed death sentences awarded to thirteen terrorists. Tried by military courts, these terrorists were involved various heinous offences relating to terrorism including killing of foreign tourists at Nanga Parbat, attack on Saidu Sharif airport and attacks on armed forces and law enforcement agencies.
These executions might provoke some so called human rights activists to resort to protests but in our view the death penalty acts as a deterrent and is one of the effective ways to root out crime. It has also been proven through different studies that each execution, on average, results in fewer murders. Saudi Arabia is ranked amongst the countries where crime rate is very low as compared to even developed countries because of strict punishment for different crimes without undue delays. The public hanging of criminals is serving the purpose to deter other individuals from committing the criminal deeds. Similarly, Iran has set some good traditions of awarding strict punishments to the individuals without any discrimination. Recently, a billionaire tycoon was sentenced to death for involvement in massive corruption. It is therefore a natural phenomenon that the punishments help deter crimes. However, the deterrent effect is directly proportional to the delay in the execution. The longer the delay, the lesser the deterrent effect. Hence, it has been criminal indifference, silence or negligence on the part of successive governments in Pakistan that the hardcore criminals awarded with the death sentences were not brought to the gallows despite passage of so many years. The present government however deserves appreciation for lifting moratorium on the death penalty back in 2014 and reviving the process which had been done much earlier. Given the current situation in Pakistan where Zarb-e-Azb operation is meeting tremendous success and terrorists are being executed, we are sure the country will soon achieve the status of a civilized terror free nation. No mercy to the stone hearted and hardcore criminals is the right course and step in the right direction that will soon rid the country of the curse of terrorism.

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