a difference of opinion

S: Don’t tell me you regret his death, surely you can’t be that deluded by ‘principles’. That man was a mass murderer, responsible for the death of hundreds. He was the reason sectarian violence became widespread in Pakistan, the reason we as a society are so fractured. If any man did, he deserved to die.

A Oh I agree! He was a horrible person, and perhaps he deserved to die; in the eyes of the legal system. But what I am saying, and you are misunderstanding, is that his death in a “police encounter” is the wrong way to go about this. You couldn’t legally prove he was guilty, and so you shot him in the street? What separates you from the militants you just killed, they use arbitrary violence to get their way too.

S: Don’t bore me with schematics, I can shoot two back for every one you shoot towards me. Tell me. Killing our dear Ishaq in a street encounter is bad because there was no due process, but killing our dear Talib by airstrike in Waziristan is okay? Where is the due process then? We at least knew who shot- a violent mass murderer was; airstrikes target ‘suspected militants’ or ‘suspected hideouts’. What about collateral damage? Which one is more morally acceptable?

A: The Talib shot back, Ishaq was unarmed, and in state custody. One is warfare; the other is state sponsored murder.

S: I am surprised you could say something so obviously flawed, both words are synonyms of each other. Having a gun in hand doesn’t make you more of a terrorist, your actions and your identity does. Just admit that you are wrong here and we can go get food.

A: I will admit I am wrong the minute you admit you are a hypocrite. You cry ‘human rights’ and ‘miscarriage of justice’ when the state hangs people, but rejoice when the people you want to see dead are killed. You are no saintly human rights activist, you are just like the rest of us – selfish, biased and vengeful.