Criminal Justice Response to Extremism: Priyantha Case
Pakistan’s legal and judicial system have long been seen as ineffective insofar as the criminal justice response to extremism is concerned. This may be generally true, but it is changing and the response is transforming gradually. The transforming response may be a result of highly skeptical public opinion, better coordination between police and prosecution and more understanding on the part of the judiciary. The case of Priyantha (Sri Lankan citizen who was killed by a mob and his body was burnt on 3rd December, 2021) has finally been decided on 18th April, 2022. Ms. Natasha Naseem Sipra, Judge Anti-Terrorism Court, Gujranwala Division, Gujranwala convicted 88 accused in the case with 6 awarded death penalty, 9 handed down life imprisonment and 73 sentenced to rigorous imprisonment with varying terms. This article will try to highlight some salient aspects of the whole justice system response and allied matters to the episode, which may help in infusing energy, hope and learning for any future response to such incidents.