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The Rise of Extrajudicial Killings in Pakistan: A Threat to Democracy and the Rule of Law

This essay explores the increasing trend of extrajudicial killings in Pakistan, highlighting the impact on human rights

Extrajudicial killings, also known as encounter killings, refer to the unlawful killing of a person by governmental forces, including police and law enforcement agencies, without the sentence of judicial authorities. This type of killing is a clear violation of the Constitution of Pakistan, specifically Article 9, which states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or liberty save in accordance with law."

The role of police is to gather evidence, identify suspects, and present them along with witnesses to the competent judicial body. However, in practice, police often act as judges and executioners, which is a challenge to the superiority of the provincial and federal governments. The prevalence of extrajudicial killings in Pakistan is a reflection of the incompetence, inability, and lack of proficiency by judicial bodies.

The province of Balochistan has seen a significant number of disappearances, many of which are attributed to enforcement agencies. In addition, police have been killing people in the name of "crossfire." The government argues that those killed in crossfire or in encounters are all criminals, but this is not always the case. In many instances, the killings are staged to bypass Pakistan's cumbersome judicial process, resulting in the murder of innocent individuals.

The rise of a special force empowered to kill without legal authority is a serious threat to democracy and the rule of law. The government's "go ahead" authority to kill people with a high criminal record is a gross violation of human rights and democratic principles. The lack of accountability and transparency in the justice system exacerbates the problem, and it is imperative that the government takes action to address this issue.

In conclusion, the increase in extrajudicial killings in Pakistan is a serious problem that must be addressed. The government must take measures to ensure the protection of human rights, the rule of law, and the principles of democratic governance. The justice system must be reformed to ensure accountability and transparency, and the police must perform their duties within the bounds of the law. The rise of extrajudicial killings is a threat to the very fabric of society and must be prevented.

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About the Author

A Professional Lawyer Specialised in Civil and Criminal Litigation, and member of Karachi Bar Assosiation.

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