LAHORE: This is with reference to the letter by Rana Amjad entitled “Bounty on Hafiz Saeed” (April 5). Although, the purpose of my letter is by no means to portray Mr Saeed as a hero or otherwise, I believe that he must only be punished if found guilty and not based on a US internal executive order.
The letter argues that Mr Saeed should be handed over to the US and that Pakistan ‘does not need terrorists like him’. But on what grounds should Pakistan do that when the country’s courts have declared that there is no evidence of his involvement in any terrorist activity. Can Pakistani authorities override the legal system when a person has not been deemed guilty?
Yes, we do not need terrorists in our country, but are we at liberty to brandish someone as one in this fashion? We can only label someone a terrorist if we have verifiable evidence that links the person to a terrorist act.
The correct way to go about handling this matter is that the US should provide Pakistan with all the evidence it possesses regarding Mr Saeed so that the same may be presented in a Pakistani court of law. If found guilty, Mr Saeed must then be punished under Pakistani law. Till then, let us not pronounce unilateral verdicts on anyone.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2012.