Wanna kill a Pakistani? Do it on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, a market of cheap Pakistani blood. It’s harmless, not counter-productive and widely considered as ‘justice is being done’. The beheading of a Pakistani in Saudi Arabia has a legal cover as it is tagged with a court verdict; has a public approval as the Sharia does it; both Islamabad and Riyadh are not willing to make it an issue of ‘dishonor’; and receives a positive coverage in Pakistan’s right wing media, dominated by Jama’at-e-Islami (JI) brigade and other embedded journalists.
There are no protests by Jehadists, JI or Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam (JUI), as all of them are the direct beneficiaries of Saudi Arabia’s funds allocated for expanding radical Sunni Islam and Wahabi Sharia beyond its borders. Neither the champions of Pakistan’s honor namely Hameed Gul, Imran Khan and their likes incite feelings of revenge and hate in talk shows hosted by un-uniformed civilian anchors. And why should they complain? Every beheading entertains the true believers of faith and the ‘God fearing subjects’ of the holy land after their Friday prayers. Every third or sixth week, a Pakistani or a national of another South Asian country is beheaded by sword to feed the “Wahabi Sharia” of Saudi Arabia.
The beheading of Pakistanis is not a topic of discussion in the foreign office weekly briefings, corps commanders’ meetings and newly emerging state-sponsored think tanks. Unlike Reymond Davis saga’s victims and Aafia Siddiqi, a family member of KSM, no one questions the legality of Pakistani citizens’ beheadings that began since the first Pakistani daily wager became an economic immigrant in Saudi Arabia. One apparent reason for the silence over the judicial killings of Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia is the close relations between the two brotherly Muslim nations. Compare this state-level hush on the beheadings of Pakistanis on drug trafficking, robbery and rape charges with the hue and cry raised over the trial of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab, who moved down scores of innocent people on November 28, 2008 in a crowded train station in Mumbai, before he was arrested red-handed.
As if the religious parties’ approval and state’s silence are not enough, the Pakistani newspapers and private electronic media do report the beheadings stories doing ‘due justice’ with it by telling their audience “two more Pakistani were beheaded in Ryadh on charges of drug trafficking after Friday prayers.” The source of the story is always Saudi Press Agency (SPA), a state controlled propaganda tool.
Nowhere in the world a journalist buys the version of a state-controlled media organ while reporting an event without questioning its credibility but in Pakistan it’s not the case. The so-called champions of journalism in this country, however, treat SPA and Xinhua’s (Chinese State news agency) reports as heavenly scriptures. Like Saudi’s other friends in Pakistan, the embedded journalists too fail to question the frequent beheadings of Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia in its editorials or talk shows. Nor the media managers ever talked to the victims of the Wahabi justice system of Saudi Arabia to give their version on their alleged involvement in murder, trafficking or robbery.
A report in the Arab News has quoted the then Pakistani ambassador telling 4000 Pakistanis were languishing in Saudi jails. Even if a one twentieth of these prisoners are accused of crimes punishable with ‘beheading by sword’, the Saudi courts can easily send three of them for public beheading each week of the year. A few of these prisoners have told their families, friends and media that they were innocent. One latest example is the case of three Pakistanis who have been condemned to beheading in the public by a Saudi court despite the fact that they have paid blood money to the victim’s family. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly raised the issue on April 12, 2011 calling on the Saudi authorities to release the Pakistanis after payment of the blood money. They already spent 15 years in Saudi jail in the same case, facing all sorts of custodial torture including taking out nails of the alleged criminals by the jail authorities. They were also named in the murder of Indonesian women while they were languishing in the jail. This is a good case reflecting Saudi Arabia’s power vis-à-vis Pakistan—the former paid the blood money to the victims of CIA contractor Raymond Davis and got a favorable verdict for him from a Pakistani court but it resists a similar arrangement for the three Pakistanis who per Saudi law don’t need to spend one more night in the jail.
Pakistanis coming from Saudi Arabia tell stories of the judicial biases they face in the kangaroo courts of Saudi Arabia. In cases where they are not paid for their services, the courts are notoriously known for favoring the locals. Many more are being arrested on charges of sharing accommodations with an alleged drug trafficker. The Saudi justice model doesn’t provide the services of an attorney to an alleged criminal, a model not compatible in human justice system since late 19th century in the civilized world. An alleged criminal in Saudi Arabia even doesn’t know who is advocating his case.
One can hope that the champions of Pakistan’s honor in cases of Reymond Davis, Aafia Siddiqui and Ajmal Kasab will one day also tell Saudis: Your royal Excellency! Pakistani blood is not that cheap and stop rolling down their heads off the bloody sword in the name of so-called (Wahabi) Sharia.