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November-17-98

Prime Minister Trying to Bring Taliban-like Rule to Pakistan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently revealed his intention to follow in the footsteps of Afghanistan's Taliban militia by introducing a similar form of strict Islamic rule to Pakistan. In August, Sharif announced his goal to run Pakistan under a system of Islamic Shari'a law, but, for the first time, he has linked his vision with that of the extremist Taliban, who practice executions and beatings.

Sharif claims that this system of justice will bring peace and safety to Pakistan. He stated, "Murderers and rapists roam around freely for years. Such people should be hanged publicly and their cases decided in 24 hours, three days, or seven days."

While Sharif says he wants to bring stability to Pakistan, opposition and human rights groups fear that the introduction of this form of Islamic law would give him more power and enable him to disregard the established legal system. Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party, said, "The regime is now exploiting the sacred name of Islam to subvert the constitution and the dream of (Jinnah) of a pluralistic, liberal democratic society."

The Taliban justice system, condoned by Sharif, has not only caused outrage within Western governments; Muslim countries such as Sudan and Iran have also condemned the harshness of their practices.

Media Resources: Reuters - November 17, 1998

   

     

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