License to Kill

The other day I was scrolling down my Facebook and I saw a presser by Mr. Shahbaz Sharif alongside the infamous law minister, Rana Sanaullah and Zainab`s father. Mr. Sharif was appreciative of all the agencies, both civil and military playing an integral role in apprehending the perpetrator. I won’t be objecting to the agenda of the presser however it could’ve been better if Mr. Sharif could explain to us how the persecution process could be made better? Why was the Punjab Govt with a huge police force and civilian intelligence agencies in dire need of military assistance to apprehend a mere serial killer? Above all the classic Pakistani style to solve a murder case entails a notice from the army chief, the honorable chief justice and mass media coverage which rings a bell in the CM house and finally someone gets caught.
A typical day begins when we hear headlines that a bomb got off claiming lives of normal people out to earn a living for their families, a girl got killed by her own family or a notorious thug whose father is a rich businessman with political affiliations killed someone while driving and was allegedly drunk. These headlines are followed by a series of condemnations, at times some political or religious figures have the audacity to not condemn such acts. While the condemnations are in order, a particular issue gets picked up and twitter gets flooded with justice hashtags. The ever-growing media attention exerts pressure on the authorities to act and act swiftly.
These people who commit such atrocities are not RAW agents or under influence from some western power with vested interests in Pakistan. These are our own people growing in the same neighborhood, receiving the same education yet every one presses the Mute button and here we are watching those same headlines the next day. We all are aware of the existing lacunae from registering an FIR to a court hearing and finally the decade’s later verdict, but the process isn’t the only issue. It’s our corrupted mentality and a unique Pakistani ego-centrism based on how the day will be saved by either our parents or some crooked relative influential enough to do the trick. The irony doesn’t end here, it happens to be a great pride in being related to the same old crooked fellow who has no respect for his country and obviously self-respect seems to be a remote possibility here.
The other day we could see a brave police officer flying from KHI to ISLAMABAD in a private charter to escape the country after committing an extrajudicial murder or the ghairat brigade marching into a public university with sticks as symbol of their manhood beating teachers and students on orders of a leader who could hardly spell the name of programs offered in that university. Where is this license to kill, damage public property, issue fatwas on political grounds?
Let’s use the rearview mirror before warning someone of apparent manhood and ability to kill, nowhere to be seen if isolated from their influential families. How can we blame a guy earning less than a dollar per day of something he did when some of the most elite families save their children involved in the most horrendous crimes possible?
I wonder if the CM Sindh could have a presser with people like DSP Aurangzeb Khan who lost his son to another thug. Let the law take its course, allow authorities to act independently and then we’ll see prime ministers going down, apprehending a murderer isn’t that much of an issue while transparency in the process is.

Shehryar Imran Ejaz

Student – Lahore University of Management Sciences

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