How many Zafirs, Zains and Shahzebs will it take for Pakistan to stop bowing down before the Khawars, the Kanjus and the Jatois?

Published: December 5, 2017
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They use the same tried and tested techniques to evade justice, at which point it simply becomes a repetition of history.

I can very well imagine his pain, his helplessness, as he was being ruthlessly deprived of his right to live and follow his dreams. How he must have begged and pleaded for his life, only to be left alone to offer apologies for something he didn’t even do. I mean, wouldn’t anyone do just that to save their life? But the monsters did not just lack sympathy – they were inherently void of even a shred of humanity.

They trapped him from all sides, with nowhere to go, and then their guns started blazing. Entire caches of bullets were emptied on one poor soul. As he lay in his car, in a pool of his own blood, all humanity was lost in that one moment. They fled without even bothering to call in an ambulance, and why would they? The prime goal of these animals was to finish him off.

Not only was a family bereaved of their only kin, but 18-year-old Zafir Fahim Zubairi left this world at an age when he had merely begun seeing the possibilities it had to offer. All his hopes, dreams and aspirations will now be buried 20-feet under the mud, along with him.

How long is this going to continue, might I ask? Will the architects of our future continue to be massacred like this? On one hand, we have terrorists attacking the youth in schools and universities, while on the other, we have urban terrorists, products of the VIP culture who continue to play Holi with the blood of our youth. Because of these monsters, those aspiring to contribute to the country’s development are forced to meet an early fate.

Nothing highlights the appalling state of justice in Pakistan better than the words of Ghazala Rauf, mother of Zain Rauf, the slain victim of yet another spoiled son of an influential man, Mustafa Kanju. Ghazala told the Supreme Court,

“I cannot fight powerful murderers with two daughters.”

These unfortunate yet historic words are enough to expose the flawed justice system, and are no less than a slap on the standards of the judiciary of our country. The 16-year-old victim’s mother withdrew the case after realising that the law and government was on the side of the perpetrators, who were influential people, and that she could lose more than her son’s life if she kept fighting.

It would be pertinent to mention another failure of the corrupt system we live in – the Shahrukh Jatoi case. After five years of innumerable suffering that Shahzeb Khan’s family had to endure, the courts recently acquitted Shahrukh citing some technical loophole. The family, however, had already come to a compromise a few years ago, fearing their remaining children’s safety as they were intimidated by the influential Jatoi family. There were reports that not only was Shahrukh initially able to escape to Dubai with the involvement of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but was also given VIP treatment inside prison, with him allegedly leaving the prison to spend time outside as well.

If, and only if the judiciary had crushed the head of the snake there and then, by not just sentencing Shahrukh to death but also ensuring the implementation of the sentence, we would not see the snake get bigger and annihilate another victim.

However, things haven’t changed a bit since Shahrukh murdered Shahzeb.

Trigger-happy barbarians like Khawar Burney continue to roam the city with unwavering support of the law on their back. Armed to the teeth, they display their affinity for automatic weapons with their henchmen, and that too while drunk. Exhibiting their might and prowess in their double cabin cars, they threaten to harm anyone who dares look at them the wrong way. They kill and maim countlessly, yet we get to know only when the victim is lucky enough to garner media attention, like in the case of Zafir. Even then, they use the same tried and tested techniques to evade justice, at which point it simply becomes a repetition of history.

For instance, although the eyewitness has claimed that the firing was started by the civilians – Khawar and his friends – Khawar has used the oldest trick in the bag by claiming it was done by his guards, just like Shahrukh claimed. Another similarity is how Khawar is trying to shift the blame on the victim, by claiming that they started firing after getting hit by Zafir, just as Shahrukh had claimed that his friends were slapped by Shahzeb. Funny how these animals have such low regard for human life that they believe in killing mindlessly just to satisfy their fragile egos.

Zafir’s was not the first young life lost to VIP culture and privilege, nor will it be the last, especially if the precedence of justice continues like this.

I am afraid that we will see a surge in innocent people losing their lives to blood thirsty ‘waderas’ (feudal lords) and wealthy gun owners, whose only values are those that are embedded in violence, wealth and luxury. Therefore, unlike past precedent, the judiciary must take a firm stand this time and ensure swift justice by sentencing the perpetrators, and implementing it, as soon as possible.

There are already doubts, and not much hope, that the perpetrators will be given exemplary punishment, or any punishment at all. The rich may yet again escape justice by exploiting the flawed legal system, if they successfully silence the victim’s family and intimidate them into a compromise. Who knows who will be the next Zafir that another Khawar chooses to target to quench his thirst for blood?

I am sorry to say this, but if justice doesn’t prevail, perhaps the younger generation should seriously mull over leaving this country while their heads are still on their shoulders. ‘Pakistan se zinda bhaag’ (Run away from Pakistan while you’re still alive) might then soon become the anthem of the educated youth.

Perhaps this country would be better off with the killers establishing the laws of jungle more openly and freely, while those of us civilised enough should just leave for someplace safer.

Ahsan Zafeer

Ahsan Zafeer

The author is interested in politics, social issues and sports. He has a passion for writing and believes that issues can be resolved through discussion. He tweets as @AhsanZafeer (twitter.com/AhsanZafeer)

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

  • Alpha Centuri

    The other family takes the law in their own hand … it is okay. It is the law of the jungle. Today PKR 5000 buys you an assassin. Such is the pathetic situation.Recommend

  • Bilal

    An underage kid should not be allowed to drive the Sports car just as a civilian should not be given licence to own a gun. These both things are detrimental to lives of a society.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Pakistan is run by the rich, for the rich! End of discussion!Recommend

  • Karachiwala

    Judges in court are nominated by Politicians, who are none other than same waderas.
    so i will ask you to forget about any change coming from these judges or courts.Recommend

  • Mirza Aasauf Baig

    Keep the Victims out of this Case otherwise these Shameless People will just pay something and Celebrate the Killing. PLEASE STOP THIS CULTURE WHERE Rich can kill anyone and get away without any shame. QISAS is for those from whom crime was commited mistakenly and are feeling very much guilty and shame…. not for such Shameless rich people.Recommend

  • Salman Raheel

    You need to know that’s how democracy works in Pakistan. All the so-called champions of human right’s like Asma Jahangir, never bother to raise their biased voices in such affairs. Pakistan is being made property of these influential people all under the excuse of democracy. Even ZA. Bhutto had many people killed but no one is willing to acknowledge that because of the political incentives associated with his much imagined “Martyrdom”.Recommend

  • Raza khan

    Most of these barbarian cases are happening in sindh where the biggest corrupt brainless thug in the history is ruling, Mr 10% zardari will pay the price one day for all his embezzlements from this poor country the lawlessness he created in this province and all hidden known and unknown crimes he and his VIP cronies has committedRecommend

  • Manzoor Ahmed

    Justice delayed is justice denied. Rich and influential do this because they can get away with it and human life is of no consequence.Recommend

  • Parvez

    It’s a clear indication that the Pakistan criminal justice system is completely broken…..and the lawmakers have no interest in fixing it because it is they who are the beneficiaries of the broken system and our judiciary’s foot dragging in exercising their immense powers to ensure justice is done does not help.Recommend

  • Sane

    Power and money is the law in Pakistan. If one has these two can commit any crime to be set free ultimately on one pretext or the other. ‘Loopholes’ in judicial system is also annexed with power and money. This ‘loophole’ is not for ordinary and those who do not have power and money. Accused and under trial criminals are free to move any where even out of country.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Go_Nawaz_Go HassaanM

    And PPP leaders, after descending the province they have been governing to such lawlessness, were dancing in Islamabad yesterday. There is a point where incompetence becomes a small word to describe a government’s ill-functioning. PPP have crossed that point years ago.Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore

    Why does every bad incident have to do something with Pakistan or being a pakistani.

    100,000 mass shootings happened in US. Do you see people complaining there?

    Why are pakistanis so quick to tarnishing the image of our countryRecommend