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Medieval madness

The stoning to death of a couple, found guilty of adultery, near Ghalanai, the principal town of the Mohmand Agency, underscores the extent of our descent into an age of brutal medievalism.

It has been reported that the married woman and the man she allegedly eloped with, had been found guilty by a ‘Qazi court’. Such courts fall outside the country’s judicial system and have no legal standing under the law. It has also been found that they often fail to uphold basic principles of justice, including the rights of accused persons to a fair defence. In most cases, emotional demands for the upholding of ‘moral’ values appear to determine their actions. All too often it is the most vulnerable who suffer. The sentence of ‘Rajam’ (stoning to death), the first ever to be carried out in tribal areas, is also an indicator of the growing brutalization of society in the FATA areas. Such punishments, reportedly carried out before an audience, of course only add to the dangerous mentality prevailing here. Uncovering those involved in the illegal act does not seem problematic given that the Taliban group in the area has accepted responsibility for the murder and issued a statement. The killers must be brought to book for their crime so that a message can go out to militants everywhere that acts of barbarity will not be tolerated by the state and its forces. This is crucial to reasserting the writ of law and ending the descent into chaos which has contributed to the growing litany of woes in the tribal areas.
Source: The News
Date:4/4/2008

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