Don’t blame the youth for Sulaiman Lashari’s murder

Published: May 22, 2014

The youth believes and follows what it is sees, and a youth that grows up in an ill society such as ours, must not be blamed.

A walk along this city’s empty streets is not an easy one. It has become customary to bathe the city streets in blood every day. The time is not far when graveyards will no longer be accommodating. Once known as the city of lights, it is only death, nowadays, that has the last laugh here.

In this city, the recent cold-blooded murder of Sulaiman Lashari, a young boy, at the hands of another young boy, Salman Abro, is a horrific shocker. Unfortunately, this incident is not the first of its kind. In the recent past, murders at the hands of youngsters have attracted a lot of media attention in Pakistan. It would be fair to predict that, as time passes by, these kinds of incidents will become a common practice. And we will become used to it, for we have already become used to suicide bombings, gunny bags stuffed with dead bodies, shutter-down strikes and more recently the Vigo-guard culture in this society.

Though these murders were committed by individuals, collectively, these incidents aren’t the result of an individual’s behaviour.  This madness can partially be called a parenting failure but also reflects on the failure of our social structure at large. It is impossible for a civilised society to flourish in the absence of morals and human values, which is exactly what is happening around us right now.

In any intolerant society, such as ours, a bullet is seen as the most feasible way of settling any difference of opinion. Human rights activist and advocate of the Supreme Court, Rashid Rehman, was told in court that he would be killed for accepting the brief of an accused blasphemer. And, as promised, he was killed.

Professor Shabbir Shah, of the University of Gujrat (UoG), had to depart early from this world for holding liberal views. Dr Manzoor Memon was brutally murdered for reasons yet unknown to public. Governor Salman Taseer was gunned down in broad day-light for talking sense, while his killer went on to become a national hero. The judge, who decreed his killer capital punishment, had to run for his life and has been in exile ever since.

We, however, now have a mosque in the capital named after his killer, Mumtaz Qadri, and a library named after the slain founder of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. Not to forget, we have our national ballistic missiles named after Afghan beasts, Mahmud of Ghazni and Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri. What values would the youth learn in a society where men such as these are hero-worshipped?

Analysing history, we see that every third world country has a hero like Jinnah. However, seeing the conditions of this country, even Boko Haram would feel shy committing the atrocities that are committed here on everyday basis: the mass graves in Baluchistan, the burning alive of Sindhi politicians, the issue of missing persons. If elections ever made any difference in this country, the real rulers wouldn’t ever let us have them. Circumstances change; different actors come to stage and perform a script written by the real rulers.

Power greedy rulers have done little towards nation building. Those who did were labelled traitors. Fatima Jinnah, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmad Faraz, Habib Jalib, if these people were traitors then which sane, wise man wouldn’t want to be amongst this hall of fame? What these power greedy rulers fail to understand is that, it is in the nature of power that it is does not belong to anyone. It is fictional and befriends none, nor is loyal to one.

We need to realise that our school books are full of lies, our clerics preach hatred, most of our heroes were demons and women till date are killed for giving birth to girls (56 killed in 2013). We have become boiling volcanoes of extremism and intolerance. Our religious, ethnic and other divisions keep increasing by the day and soon the day will come when it will be a fight of every man against every other man.

Our mosques, temples and churches are no longer safe. Killing of good men no longer causes alarm in our society. It is that which resides in the chest and that which knows or thinks – the rational soul – that seems to have gone missing. We now frighten the world with our polio spreading capabilities, as if having a green passport wasn’t fun enough.

Do we even realise how scary a place we appear to the world?

Naturally, the upbringing of youth in such a society is bound to produce generations that would lack wisdom, vision and morals. These generations will be brainless and filled with hatred, aggression, and intolerance. They will be violent and will denounce humanity and peace. However, insanity is a valid legal defence to any crime. Therefore, these generations, while young, must best be labelled a master-mad youth.

Omer Memon

Omer Memon

The writer is a lawyer who tweets as @OmeeMemon (

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