Protecting law of the land

April 12, 2018

In two different incidents in Pakistan in the last week foreign nationals living in the country were involved in violating the law of the land. In the first incident, five Chinese officials working in Pakistan misbehaved with police and as per footage they attacked police officers in Khanewal. Chinese engineers working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Khanewal got into a physical altercation with local police. Chinese citizens tried to leave their camp without security. For their safety, the police officials tried to stop them, irking the Chinese and leading to the argument. The Chinese engineers lashed out at the security officers and the project engineer threw a chair at the squad incharge. At this point, another Chinese citizen climbed on top of a police mobile. In a further provocation, the Chinese citizens cut off electricity supply to the police camp.

Chinese workers had been declared ‘persona non grata’; thus they had to leave the country for their misconduct with police. Ultimately, all the five Chinese engineers involved in the brawl with policemen have been deported to China.

In the second incident a US diplomat who broke traffic signal in Islamabad that resulted accident with two bike riders. One severely got injured and other could not sustain injuries and died on the way to hospital. US diplomat is booked on criminal charges, including murder by mistake and negligent driving. More likely, he will be paying ‘blood money’ as per Pakistani law to settle the case. This law is valid under the Pakistan Penal Code and such incidents have been witnessed in the past when foreign nationals settled their cases after paying the blood money.

Unfortunate incidents were being highlighted on social and mainstream media as people were asking to take stern action against culprits for undermining law of the land. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Pakistan is bound by the same diplomatic convention as the rest of the world. If Pakistani officials stationed abroad violate law of the land they will also be treated as per rules set out under the Vienna Convention. Though Chinese officials don’t fall in the category of diplomatic immunity but still as per treaties with China they were declared persona non grata being the citizens of an ally country.

Pakistan has to provide immunity as per treaties and international laws, but still government did well in dealing both the cases. Authorities in Pakistan have responded rationally and firmly in handling both the cases.

Due to government’s apathy in when it comes to health and educations sector, millions across Pakistan are deprived of basic healthcare and education. Only a mere fraction of the country’s citizens can afford the costly services provided by private institutions. Even the rulers themselves don’t deem local medical facilities fit for their use and usually travel abroad for even routine health checks.

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