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The Dreadful Face Of Pakistani Judicial System – OpEd

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It is rightly said that the existence of infidelity and misleading in the country is not as dangerous as absence of justice. Undoubtedly the act of infidelity and misleading is disliked. But despite that, it is possible to establish peace and security in the country. However, when the foundations of justice are broken apart, it leads to mutual dispute, retaliatory reaction and then to the jeopardy befalling the social security.

Before proceeding, let us take some incidents into consideration. According to media reports, the 36-year-old Raymond Davis was winding through the Lahore traffic in his Honda Civic when he stopped at a red light and shot dead two bike riders (January 27, 2011). Fahim Shamshad 26, died on the spot. As per the detailed report of the Guardian, Davis got out of his car and took aim at the 22-year-old Faizan Haider, who had started escaping. A postmortem reported that Faizan Haidar was hit three times in the front and twice in the back. The eyewitnesses present at the nearby revealed that Davis started to photograph the dead men. They were greatly shocked at the killer who was still very peaceful and confidently present at the spot. Meanwhile Davis called his colleagues for help. While they were trying to reach the spot by a Toyota Land Cruiser, they hit and killed a bike rider, then pressed on. Raymond Davis was arrested. Protestors started to course through the entire country, demanding punishment to Davis. And the widow of Faheem committed suicide by swallowing rat poison. This incident resulted in four deaths. All the evidences and investigations easily proved the crime of Raymond Davis. However it was reported that as per the Pakistani judicial system, the killer paid the victims’ families $2.4 million. Then Raymond Davis was released and he immediately left Pakistan for his country.

Similarly, during the night of 24 December 2012, Shahzeb Khan’s sister was on her way back home from their sister’s Walima reception. She was eve-teased by the servant of Talpur family Ghulam Murtuza Lashari. The girl called her parents but her brother Shahzeb soon arrived. This resulted in a fight between Shahzeb Khan and Murtuza Lashari. Shahzeb Khan’s parents somehow reconciled the matter. After the fight had ended, Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj traced Shahzeb again and gunned him down. He was still alive but when Ghulam Murtuza Lashari and Sajjad Ali Talpur went and saw him alive, they came and told Shah Rukh Jatoi. Then again Shahrukh went to Shahzeb Khan and fired bullets at him. Initially no arrests were made; which led to massive protests throughout the country. This finally made the people think that the killer belonged to a famous and powerful family which had influenced the administration and that it was therefore not working effectively.

Nevertheless, under public pressure, proceedings started against criminals. Ghulam Murtuza and Sajjad Talpur were arrested. But Shahrukh Jatoi, the main accused in the case, had fled to Dubai, but was later arrested and brought back to Pakistan. The court sentenced two criminals to life imprisonment and Shahrukh to death. In short, after proving their crime, it is surprisingly enough that all the three criminals were released, only because they had made letter of reconciliation with the victim’s family and presented it to the court. How this letter of reconciliation was made is best known to Allah Almighty. However, the statements of the victim’s parents reveal many secrets. The deceased’s mother Anbarin says, “Our son had died now and we do not want to spend all our life in fear, so we have forgiven them.” Thus the three criminals got out of the prison, making a sign of victory.

Let us read one more heart-wrenching story. In June 2011, Sarfraz Shah 22 was shot dead in Clifton Park in Karachi. Coincidentally a TV channel team had also placed a camera which recorded the incident. The video cleanly shows that the young man was pleading for his life but Ranger Shahid Zafar pointed a gun at him and fired a bullet on his thigh. The victim can be seen screaming in pain and begging for help, but the brutal oppressor fired another bullet on his other thigh. There were three more Rangers standing near, but no one tried to save the victim. As per the collected information, he was taken to the hospital at a time when he had quickly died of blood loss.

Shahid Zafar, the main accused in the case, as well as Bahaur Rehman, Liaqat Ali, Muhammad Tariq, Manzar Ali and Afzal Khan were arrested. On October 12, 2011, Karachi’s anti-terrorist court sentenced Shahid Zafar to death and others to life imprisonment. The appeal was made in the High Court but the Judge rejected the appeal. Then the appeal was filed in the Supreme Court but the punishment continued. However, in the meantime the reconciliation agreement made by the deceased’s family was presented and thus in 2014, Shahid Zafar’s death sentence was converted into life imprisonment. Now it is reported that the Government authorities has petitioned the Pakistani President Mamoon Hussain for pardon for all the accused under the Article 45 of the constitution. According to some news sources, the President has granted the pardon.

Dear friends! In all the three aforementioned cases, the criminals were not only identified, but also proven guilty. All this happened after the steps of rigorous investigation and justice had been taken. Nevertheless, they have not yet been punished. There is no reason other than that the criminals are wealthy and politically strong. This fact associated with the Pakistani Judicial system piteously calls us to sense the ongoing situation in the country that the culprits having wealth and influence are respectfully acquitted in the cases of murderous crimes. This makes me worry about the unjust situation in which the criminals could easily get acquitted anytime, with support of their wealth and influence. Then why is it that the judicial litigations are played on the government’s heavy expenditure? Is it not better for the honourable judges to command first to determine the personality of the accused, as to whether he is rich or poor, extraordinary or ordinary?! This way will save Pakistan’s wealth as well as the precious time of the Courts!

It is rightfully said that all the rules, laws and constitutional provisions are implemented only for the poor and middle-class citizens. As for the famous political personalities and the people of wealth, they proudly enjoy many ways for getting themselves acquitted; sometimes by bribe, sometimes by threatening the deceased’s family, by paying the blood money and sometimes under external pressure!!! What a trickery wonder of the Times!

This article was published by New Age Islam.


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