Setting a precedent: State becomes plaintiff in slain couple’s case

ET: ISLAMABAD: Ports and Shipping Minister Kamran Michael has been appointed the focal person for the case against suspects involved in the murder of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Michael as his representative for the case. “This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the state will be the plaintiff in a case involving murder due to alleged blasphemy,” Michael told The Express Tribune. 

The minister said a special session of the cabinet on Thursday was briefed about the brutal murder of Shama and Sajjad. He said the prime minister asked him to not only pursue the case, but also make sure that it set a precedent so that no one would dare repeat such a barbaric act again.

He said the federal and provincial governments had decided that the state would be the plaintiff in the case. In the past, only the bereaved or relatives of the deceased were made plaintiffs. “But they usually end up reaching a compromise due to various reasons.” These include facing pressure from the perpetrators or those who sympathise with the culprits, he said. “Sometimes, they buy them out with blood money or favours.”

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