With the execution of lone surviving Mumbai attacks gunman Ajmal Kasab, India hopes "rule of law" will prevail in Pakistan as well, said External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid even as civil society organisations were saddened by the end to the country’s moratorium on capital punishment.
Mr. Khurshid was referering to a trial in Pakistan of seven persons accused of masterminding the Mumbai attacks. The Minister said India had not received any request from Pakistan for handing over the body of Kasab whose hanging came barely 12 hours after India voted against a non-binding resolution in the United Nations banning the death penalty.
Kasab’s crimes were the gravest possible, agreed Brad Adams of Human Rights Watch. But the death penalty is both morally objectionable and ineffective. India should not have lowered itself to Kasab’s level, he said. "Instead of resorting to the use of execution to address heinous crime, India should join the rising ranks of nations that have taken the decision to remove the death penalty from their legal frameworks,’’ said Meenakshi Ganguly, HRW’s South Asia director.
India has been pressing for a faster trial in Pakistan of those accused of plotting the Mumbai attacks and feels a "little balm'' in the form of their conviction would go a long way in improving bilateral ties.