The sharks have tasted blood

Published: April 2, 2013
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How they inflict damage is for everyone to see. Just look at the rising mob lynching. PHOTO: AFP

Nowadays, if you have a personal grudge to settle or a fight to pick, make it about religion and you can muster a sizeable little army to do your job for you.

What’s more, you and your cronies are likely to get away with it; and that too, scot-free.

Even our newish baptism in judicial activism and public lip-service to outrage, isn’t likely to wake our slumbering giant of a government to pin you down and charge you. After all, we still don’t know who was responsible for Gojra, and we definitely won’t know who instigated the mob in the recent Francis Colony incident.

Now remember, we aren’t talking hardened militants or trained suicide bombers here. No bomb blasts or targeted killings involved. At least, in those intolerable instances, we know who the perpetrators are — we can find them, try them and if all else fails, eliminate them.

But what to do when homes, preciously built after years of hardship, are razed to the ground, because the people living in them do not profess the same faith as those seemingly ordinary, everyday citizens.

As our law enforcers admitted in the Joseph Colony hearing — they adopt the ostrich tactic. Turn around and bury your heads in the sand and repeat the mantra ‘see no evil, stop no evil’. The result? No arrests. Which means no one is caught and no one is prosecuted.

Hallelujah! And we have just set a dangerous precedent. Such a dangerous precedent, that it is now being reinforced by more frequent instances of mob violence.

So let us disabuse ourselves of any notions that this waywardness won’t spread, because it will. Once they taste blood, the sharks come. How they inflict damage is for everyone to see. Just look at the rising mob lynching.

What we need now, and we need it swiftly, is for the justice system in the country to take affirmative action. Nothing works better than preventive justice. Our judiciary and our law enforcers need to demonstrate that rioting, pillaging and burning homes, even if it involves tens of hundreds of people, will be punished.

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Hammad Sarfraz

Hammad Sarfraz

A sub-editor on the national desk of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.