Family of murdered Pakistani student pardons killers

Updated 10 September 2013

Family of murdered Pakistani student pardons killers

KARACHI: The family of a Pakistani student whose death sparked outrage against the abuse of power by the wealthy has decided to pardon the men convicted in his killing, their lawyer said Monday.
The family filed an affidavit with the court several days ago pardoning the men accused of killing their son, Shahzeb Khan, lawyer Mehmood Alam Rizvi said.
Pakistani law has a maximum punishment of the death penalty, or life in prison for a murder. But, under Islamic laws victim families can strike an out-of-court deal with the murderers. In that case, the victim’s families generally appear in court to testify that they have pardoned the murderer in the name of God.
These pardons often include the accused paying the victim’s families money but in this case the lawyer said the victims’ family did not accept any payment.
The court must now decide whether to accept the pardon, but judges generally follow the decision of the family.
The two men convicted, Shahrukh Jatoi and Nawab Siraj Talpur, come from two of the wealthiest families in the southern port city of Karachi, a violent metropolis of 18 million people. They were convicted of killing the 20-year-old Khan one late night in December after the university student had an argument with one of Talpur’s servants.
The killing led to an unusual social media campaign demanding the country’s rich and powerful be held accountable for their acts.
Powerful Pakistanis and their offspring are now faced with a growing cadre of citizens — often middle class or upper middle class — who are increasingly fighting them with the help of the Internet, an activist Supreme Court and prominent political figures seeking to harness their anger.
Activists in Karachi sprang into action over Khan’s death, holding protests, using Twitter and setting up a Facebook page, “In memory of Shahzeb Khan,” to get word out about the case.
Eventually, the Supreme Court demanded that police arrest the suspected killers in 24 hours, seize their property and freeze their bank accounts.


Philippines’ Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States

Updated 23 January 2020

Philippines’ Duterte threatens to end military deal with the United States

  • Duterte vented his anger over the US decision to deny entry to Ronaldo dela Rosa
  • US embassy in the Philippines did not explain why his visa had been canceled

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States on Thursday he would repeal an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises if Washington did not reinstate the visa of a political ally.
Visibly upset, Duterte vented his anger over the US decision to deny entry to Ronaldo dela Rosa, a former police chief who is now a senator.
Dela Rosa said the US embassy in the Philippines did not explain why his visa had been canceled but that he believed it was most likely because of allegations of extrajudicial killings during his more than two-year term as police chief.
Dela Rosa was the chief enforcer of Duterte’s anti-narcotics crackdown, which has resulted in deaths of more than 5,000 people, mostly small-time drug dealers. Police say victims were shot by officers in self-defense.
“If you do not do the correction, one, I will terminate the bases, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA),” Duterte said in a wide-ranging speech before former Communist rebels. “I am giving the government and the American government one month from now.”
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), signed in 1998, accorded legal status to thousands of US troops who were rotated in the country for military exercises and humanitarian assistance operations.
Delfin Lorezana, Duterte’s defense minister, declined to comment when asked if he agreed with the president’s plan.
Duterte makes no secret of his disdain for the United States and what he considers its hypocrisy and interference, though he acknowledges that most Filipinos and his military have high regard for their country’s former colonial ruler.
The United States is the Philippines’ biggest defense ally and millions of Filipinos have relatives who are US citizens.
Last month, Duterte banned US senators Richard Durbin and Patrick Leahy from visiting the Philippines after they introduced a provision in the US Congress.
The provision calls the ban on US entry to anyone involved in locking up Philippine senator Leila de Lima, a former justice minister and Duterte’s top critic who was jailed in 2017 on drug charges after leading an investigation into thousands of deaths during the anti-narcotics campaign.
She has won numerous awards from human rights groups, which consider her a prisoner of conscience.
The US Embassy in Manila could not immediately be reached for comment outside office hours.