ISSN 2330-717X

Murder Most Foul – OpEd

By

By Tariq Saeedi

It was a bloody Sunday in May 2007. I was sitting in a second floor apartment balcony, overlooking the Sharea Faisal where it meets the Karachi airport road. The night had been full of activity, armed gangs snatching buses and trucks to use as roadblock. The government, through its organized and armed thugs, was preparing to show Iftikhar Chaudhry, the illegally ousted chief justice of Pakistan that he cannot enter Karachi, no matter the cost.

Dozens of trucks and buses were stopped at gunpoint, passengers kicked out, drivers shoved to the side, and the vehicles were placed athwart the road to block the main highway from Malir to Karsaz, practically splitting the metropolitan Karachi into three separate parts.

During the tense hours when Chaudhary was unable to get out of the airport because the whole airport area had been surrounded by thugs, there was carnage in broad daylight, some of it right before my eyes. Thirty four innocent people died before the end of the day.

The rangers and the police, the scumbag of the dungeon, the most loathsome creatures on earth, were smoking and sipping tea right behind the building where I was watching in horror the unfolding drama.

In all probability, they were faithfully doing the duty for which they had been hired by the taxpayers of Pakistan: Kill the innocent and let the criminals roam about freely.

This brings us to the murder most foul this week; the cold-blooded execution of Sarfraz Shah, an unarmed teen, by a heavily armed group of Rangers.

No words either in civilized or in vulgar language exist to describe adequately the Police and Rangers of Pakistan. They would have been infinitely better had they been made entirely of dogs’ excrement. But I doubt if dogs would permit their excretion to be used for making creatures so foul.

The armed forces – the holy cow of Pakistan – must stand up and explain to the nation. A lot of explaining is in order. No more hiding behind the façade of Constitution that prohibits criticism against the ideology or armed forces of Pakistan.

The Constitution died during repeated gang-rape by the soldiers and the politicians. Forget about the Constitution, talk about the license to kill.

The bravery of man in uniform is practiced on the unarmed, Sarfraz Shah being just one of them. Had his coldhearted murder not been recorded on camera, he would also have gone down in statistics as just another criminal who died in ‘encounter.’

There is no telling how many more have been killed by the Police and Rangers with same or even more brutality. What about the five Chechens, one of them a pregnant young woman, killed in Kharotabad near Quetta last month? What about Sialkot brothers? What about every person killed by the law enforcement agencies, on the road, in the interrogation cells, in the moving vehicles, in the dark alleys, in their homes, in every manner, under any circumstances?

The armed forces cannot protect themselves in their own GHQ, in the cadet colleges, in naval establishments, in their posts and stations but have no qualms about pulling trigger point blank at unarmed citizens.

If one argues that Rangers are not part of the armed forces, that they are a paramilitary service, it is a false argument. Rangers, and for that matter FC in Balochistan, are headed by the Army and their officer corps comes from the Army. The foot soldiers reflect the mindset of their officers.

What is the biggest threat to Pakistan: The terrorists? The police and rangers? The corrupt politicians who have sold the country cheap to Americans? The armed forces that seem unable to defend themselves against small groups of terrorists? The industrialists and businessmen who take pride in stealing taxes? The entire government machinery where even the smallest cog doesn’t move without being oiled by bribery? The Mullahs who have poisoned the whole nation and divided it against itself?

What is left? A nation in coma, resigned to being shot to death, one by one or in groups, singly or en masse, sooner or later, at the hands of their own beloved law enforcement agencies, or their own beloved terrorists, or their government’s beloved Americans whose gun barrels are visible across the border already.

RIP ye wretched creatures; dead in life, deader in death.

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