Pakistani human rights activists on Thursday supported the decision by a special court in Mumbai to award the death sentence to Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the terror siege on Mumbai in November, 2008.
If there is enough evidence against Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder and Jamat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and other accused, they should also be punished by Pakistani courts to curb terrorism in the region, they believe.
Talking to rediff.com, Pakistani human rights activist Marvi Sarmad said, "The decision to hang Ajmal Kasab is a right one; he deserved it. I will say that is a right decision, which was decided after a genuine process. I am personally against capital punishment. But the decision against Kasab is the right one, so we support it. If some terrorist carried out the same act in Pakistan, our response would have been the same."
She added, "Almost all Pakistanis are against any form of terrorism. Our media was the first to report that Ajmal Kasab was a Pakistani national involved in the killing of innocent Indians and foreigners. I will say that as compared to India, Pakistan's loss is greater. India only lost 166 citizens while the incident disgraced our whole country."
Marvi said, "Due to the terror activity of Ajmal Kasab, the relationship between the two countries is tense. These terrorists are the enemies of both countries. I think other names that are related to the incident, like Hafiz Saeed and his comrades, should also be punished."
To avoid such incidents in future, she suggested, "India and Pakistan should adopt a common strategy to tackle the menace of terrorism. The two nations should finalise an extradition treaty that would enable them to control the rising cases of terrorism in the region."
Another human rights activist, Farzana Bari, told rediff.com, "It is our universal stand that there should be no death penalty, but as far as the decision on Ajmal Kasab is concerned, it is the right one, as it is in accordance with Indian law. No one has the right to criticise it. Kasab was involved in a brutal act and we are against any form of brutality whether it is in Pakistan, India or at some other part of the world. About the crime he was involved in, the Indian agencies conducted a good investigation and after proper court proceedings, the right decision was taken."
Sarmad Manzoor, a social activist and the general secretary of South Asia Free Media Association's Pakistan unit, while commenting over the decision, told rediff.com, "The decision is just, as there are videos and other evidence against Ajmal Kasab, who was involved in the brutal act of killing 166 persons in India. Such a person doesn't have the right to live anymore."
Manzoor believes that Jihadis like Kasab are a threat for entire humanity.
"Humanity is endangered due to these people. If Pakistan and India want to tackle these elements, they will have to agree to a joint extradition treaty. Such a treaty will help punish terrorists," he said.
Manzoor said, "These few extremists are responsible for the bad relationship between the two countries; these non-state actors have derailed the peace process between the two countries and these elements should be curbed."
Though Manzoor believes that Hafiz Saeed and other accused in the 26/11 terror attack case should also be punished, he adds that India should provide Pakistan the evidence the latter has demanded.
"If India fulfilled the demands of Pakistan about (providing evidence on) the involvement of LeT and Saeed, and it is enough, then these people should be punished like Kasab," Manzoor added.
Ali Imran, a Pakistani journalist and social activist, told rediff.com, "The decision is a right one; Kasab deserves to be hanged. All countries should improve their security system so that no such incident takes place in the future. If Hafiz Saeed and (LeT operative) Zakiur Rehman are really involved in the incident, then Pakistan should also bring them to justice -- not only these seven accused but their backers should also be punished."
Jamila Achakzai, an Islamabad-based journalist, told rediff.com, "Ajmal Kasab has converted the joys of many families to eternal grief. I appreciate the Indian court's decision of awarding Kasab the capital punishment."