Sheer brutality

The recent murder of a highly-qualified teacher is a slap in the face of society. Who should be blamed for this tragedy?

I think the whole society should take the blame, particularly the politicians. Such murders are perpetrated by tribal chieftains who have vested interests in such feuds.

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In the short term, there is a simple solution for this frustrating phenomenon; hold the chieftains responsible and punish them to the full extent of the law. However, the feudal lords are apparently above the law, and even an honest and bold police officer cannot touch them because of their hold in their area of influence.

It is alleged that rank and file in the police in rural areas are more loyal to the respective chieftains than to their senior officers so much so that when they are asked to carry out a raid on certain tribal chief, they usually leak the information before conducting the raid. They do this to keep themselves in the good books of the chieftain, because they know their officer is in the area only for a short period while the tribal chief and his progeny are there permanently.

They cannot afford to take them on as these chieftains have loyal criminal gangs who never hesitate in attacking police on the order of their chief. In order to cut them to size, these tribal chiefs should be dealt with by forces outside of their area, and be jailed far away in places out of reach of their domain of influence.

The other blameworthy party in this case is the ruling political party in Sindh, which has never taken a principled stand on the issue. It should condemn feudal lords and such acts of violence in uncertain terms. However, given the track record, the party will not do that because they love the status quo, as they are dependent on the captive voters of these chieftains. Even when they were so popular that they did not need any feudal, they kept them in the loop for the simple reason that they themselves were not interested in the free will of the people.

For example, in 1988, the party was so popular that they did not need feudal lords or other influential persons to win constituencies, but they kept the status quo intact, because, I suspect, they know well that once people would feel free from the shackles of these tribal elders, their days may be numbered as well if they do not perform.

However, the party is not the only one to be blamed; the biggest culprits are those who did not let democracy flourish in society. No matter how shackled and afraid people may be, a continuation of the democratic process would have emboldened them to stand up to these brutal chieftains. Unfortunately, due to derailment of the democratic process in Pakistan, if one group of feudal lords is eliminated, the other group takes its place in some new garb, and even now cities are not immune to such malaise. Society at large seems to be at the mercy of tribal chiefs and elders.

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