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Let me make it very clear at the outset: I am against the death penalty. In an undeveloped country like Pakistan, the likelihood of an innocent man being hanged is much greater than such a thing happening in the U.K., where a Muslim was executed and the real killer confessed to the murder many years later. In Saudi Arabia, where I have been on pilgrimage twice, they routinely chop off the heads of men and women caught smuggling drugs into the country. Even though hundreds have been executed, smuggling of heroin continues, because most of the real culprits (the consumers) are probably members of the ruling family. Innocent Pakistanis who don't know the dangers involved get caught and end up losing their heads.
I remember, years ago, an ex-president of South Korea and a prime minister were sentenced to death for being corrupt while in office. For many months after the sentence, South Koreans were too scared to take bribes. And just last week a couple of Chinese men were sentenced to death while another two were executed for taking kickbacks and commissions. I believe it has now become necessary in Pakistan to hang the corrupt people at the top. Just a few death sentences should work wonders. But I doubt if it'll ever happen. On the contrary, I fear that if Mr. Zardari gets elected president again, corruption will increase and the country will disintegrate.

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