Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries in the world that has the death penalty. Mostly those who commit serious crimes like drug smuggling are executed (some of whom are Pakistanis). But sometimes political opponents (often Shias) are also beheaded. 

I have always been against capital punishment because sometimes innocent men and women are sentenced to death and hanged. This has happened so many times in the western world that the death penalty has been abolished in UK and Europe. Even many states in the US don't execute murderers. But executing someone for political reasons is absolutely abhorrent. 

Yesterday the Saudis executed eighty one people, and forty one of them were Shias. This happened when the Saudis were engaged in talks with the Iranians to improve relations between their two countries. Iran immediately called off the talks. No reason was given but obviously the execution of the Shias rankled the Iranians (who, by the way, are as ruthless as the Saudis).

So, again, there is no chance of peace between the two neighbors in the near future. But one thing I'd like to know: why is it that civilized people are so cruel? Don't they realize that the poor Pakistanis and others who bring narcotics into the kingdom deserve to live and be reformed? Wouldn't it be better to use them for labor? The real culprits are those who give them the heroin and such stuff, as well as those who receive the drugs. Why can't the Saudis be more tolerant? I know there are other countries like Malaysia and Singapore that also execute people caught smuggling narcotics. I wish they too would abolish capital punishment.

For five years in the recent past (2008-2013), there were no executions in Pakistan (credit for this goes to Asif Zardari, the president at the time). But as soon as Nawaz Sharif came into power, Pakistan started hanging people again. It's a pity, really, but how can you expect illiterate and crude people to learn to forgive and be tolerant?

But hanging people who demonstrate against the government is too much. At least in Pakistan, people who protest are not executed. It's true that the deep state does kidnap protesters or those who are against the establishment, but again, the courts do order the state to release them. It seems that cruel regimes like the Saudis and Iranians will retain the death penalty because it serves the interests of the rulers.