Anything but justice | Pakistan Today

Anything but justice

  • Wishful thinking

On the cool, breezy night of December of 2012, Shahzeb Khan smiled with joy as he bade farewell to his loving sister. Little did he know that the promising light in his eyes will be extinguished by the feudal claws of a ‘Wadera ka beta’. In an exasperating quest of his blinding ego, Shahrukh Jatoi broke the silence of the night with blasting shots, not only shooting Shahzeb dead but, effectively, converting the wedding festivities in the house into obsequies. The loving sister of Shahzeb was left scarred for life with her brother’s blood being spilt on her own wedding day.

The ruthless murder in itself was the annihilation of humanity and mankind. The decimating factor in the entire saga was not only the murder itself, but the mockery of justice that followed. For several days the murder was treated like a routine matter with the gutless police, of the time, unable to make a move.

Only after a social media outcry did the law leap into action. The co-accused were finally arrested more than 10 days after the incident. The main accused however had fled the country as expected. Ironically protocol officers of some of the most high-profile leaders of the country facilitated the escape from Karachi airport.

Only after a social media outcry did the law leap into action. The co-accused were finally arrested more than 10 days after the incident. The main accused however had fled the country as expected

All because the main accused was a Jatoi. The name itself carries the feudal tag, one of the names plaguing the inner most cores of Sindh. In the name of culture and heritage, these names have eradicated all possible forms of humanity from their respective areas and over time their own brains have been clouded with archaic concepts wherein they consider themselves to be above the rest.

The master/slave concepts afflicting the narrowed minds of these waderas have time and again harrowed the Sindhi society in particular. The feudal mentality of some of these individuals blinds them with their superiority complexes. The name tags are supposed to be a mark of supremacy above others and the ‘Saieens’ are bound to be respected by the lower classes.

Unfortunately, these feudalists polluted with their ego-centric mentalities are often blind sided with their mental concepts. Despite being educated the likes of Shahrukh Jatoi hamper their education in a split second by displaying their actual reality and the actual ground they stand on. The ill-fated night of 25 December 2012 not only remembers the sound of the shots fired by Jatoi but more importantly recalls the imperceptive voice of Jatoi screaming his identity and inviting others to know who he is and what he and his father were capable of. In simple terms it was a basic declaration of his superior claim and the fact the due to the presence of the name tag he remained untouchable by law.

The prolonged mockery of justice which continued finally did see a ray of hope as the accused were sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in the provincial metropolis. The tears of Shahzeb’s sister finally poured down not only in grief but also with a string of relief and joy that her brother’s cold-blooded murder had been brought to its logical end.

For some of the keen observers, the smile, despite being handed down a death sentence, on Jatoi’s face however spoke tales of systematic mockery of justice. Preferential treatment whilst being incarcerated and other VIP facilities such as cell phones and air-conditioned rooms were readily available to the princely sons of the Sindhi families.

The entire saga reached its dreaded conclusion when the family pardoned the killers of their son. Despite having painstakingly reiterated that they wouldn’t bow down, the gnaws of the cruelty embedded society finally managed to take them down. Fear for future backlashes or any other infliction of misery, only God alone knows what became the deciding factor but the DSP along with his family pronounced that they had forgiven the killers in the name of Allah.

Fast forward five years and the frail criminal justice system of our beloved country entered the scene and graced the inhumane murder with its presence. Firstly the SHC reversed the judgement against Jatoi and the rest and remanded the case back to a Sessions Court to decide the same afresh. The charge of terrorism dropped, and a door opened for Jatoi to walk free. It was almost satirical to see that the same court let Jatoi actually walk free.

I once wrote that if the incumbent sailors of the judicial ship manage to introduce a criminal justice system capable enough to indict terrorists and the likes of them, then these sailors shall go down in history as one of the greatest men to have donned the robes. With profound regret I have to say those words remain wishful thinking till date. The walking away of Jatoi is the greatest defeat of justice in our country. Iqama isn’t the desired form of justice, the vengeance of the blood of the likes of Shahzeb is the actual form of justice that this country requires. Visits to public hospitals is not the constitutional mandate provided to the judiciary, whereas an intervention in the Shahzeb Khan case is ripe enough and should be made in order to save the society from being tagged with another miscarriage of justice.

Till such time as the oppressors continue to oppress, the tears of Shahzeb’s sister continue to trickle down and nobody steps forward to wipe them, the talk of justice and humanity is laughable. These events painfully formulate the under said words in my heart:

Aj bhee Zamane mein bahut Kufi baaki hein”