My thoughts on the “Sahiwal Incident” and its aftermath

Last week, an anti terrorism court set free all six persons accused in the Sahiwal incident, an incident that shook Pakistan few months ago. Just to reiterate, few months ago,  four persons were shot dead near Sahiwal while they were traveling in their car along with kids. The killings, as stated by the Counter Terrorism Department was an operation against terrorists involved in the kidnapping of ex Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gillani’s son and an American national. The supposedly terrorists were traveling with their family, that is wife and kids when they were shot and killed. In fact one of the teenage daughters of the family also got killed. Two kids somehow escaped the mayhem.

The Anti terrorism court acquitted all six accused men of the counter terrorism department for lack of evidence. Which means there was no substantial evidence presented in the court that could prove that the same six men shot the family. Which in plain words means, no one was there to identify the killers, or maybe no one could identify them, or that no one wanted to identify the killers. The killers, carrying out the “sting operation” were thus acquitted. A sane mind is wont to question the decision of the court. Well evidence can be destroyed, it can be distorted, it can be bought, it can be changed. But then a few more questions come out of it. Who killed the four people that day? No inquiry was ordered by His Lordship on this matter, then. Although it is an established fact that the family did not kill itself. But then who did it? The Justice system is silent on this. The Prime Minister has been pleased to ask the Punjab Government to challenge the decision of the ATC.

All this makes me feel very very insecure. It makes me feel insecure because this could happen to me or to anyone any day and the killers will again be acquitted by the honorable court. The honorable court will then not have the good sense to order an inquiry into the incident.  Editorials will be written, civil rights activists will demonstrate, talk shows on hundreds of media channels will discuss the issue and go to sleep to wake up to another day for discussing another issue, the PM will take another “notice”, more tweets will be sent and shared, he will voice his concern, vent his anger, show his resolve, the Information and “Broad”-casting Minister aka propaganda woman will decry it on TV and via tweets alas…The Chief Justice might or might not take notice, and the matter will in few months be forgotten. And the country will once again go on dreaming about a “Naya Pakistan”.

So we come back to the main question without discussing much about the gory incident of Sahiwal, since those that were killed mercilessly were terrorists including a 13 year old teen, who died with her parents, shot multiple times, and along with it died her dreams and aspirations about which we will know nothing ever; or that the other two children that lived to see their parents actually terrorists shot in front of them, and thus having to bear that shock and to live he rest of their lives in pain and anguish not to mention the fear; the question being, “who killed the family that day”. Obviously, everyone knows, but its all a matter of proving them right or wrong as you see it. At this point I might say what are the “rules of engagement” if any, of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD)?

The good guys claimed they were fired upon from the car, at the same time no weapons and explosives were found in the car. So who shot first? Did the honorable court observe this? Or did it decide to make an exception as the issue was not one of importance? What about the Police that did the initial investigation? Surely they screwed up big time because acquittals are common practice because of sloppy police work. And finally the state sponsored or otherwise lawyers who pleaded for the CTD persons to be freed for lack of evidence! How could they live with it? Is there a better word for guilt? The few hundred thousands they made in a matter of seconds will wreck the already fractured justice system in this country for good. Sure enough it was victory for them in the courts. And what about the CTD high ups? Was there a departmental inquiry conducted in to the incident, even if to exonerate their brothers in arms? Or is there a higher and darker and sinister secret behind all this? Sadly we will never know, as has been happening in the land of pure for the last 70 plus years. Dream on for a “Naya Pakistan” while I hang my head in shame and drown myself oblivion.

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