IN Pakistan, it is not unusual for those with power, money or influence to terrorise lesser mortals. In a society awash with guns and where macho, medieval mindsets prevail, human life and dignity are worth little. This was proved by the tragic murder of Shahzeb Khan. The young man, son of a senior police officer, was shot dead in Karachi’s Defence area late last month, reportedly following an argument. As investigations have moved slowly, the Supreme Court’s orders to the advocate general and provincial police chief of Sindh to file a report with the court by Jan 4 are not surprising. The suspects, who are absconding, are said to belong to politically well-connected families; as the chief justice noted, the authorities have failed to make progress in the case due to “immense political pressure”.

The young man’s death has caused a considerable stir in civil society, with demonstrations calling for justice for the victim. It is a shame the police has displayed a lack of interest in pursuing the case, despite the fact that the victim’s father is a deputy superintendent in the force. Even more disturbing are media reports that some black sheep within the police are tipping off the suspects thus preventing their capture. The victim’s father also claims he faced resistance while trying to register the FIR. If the son of a senior police official can be murdered in cold blood, what can guarantee the security of the common citizen’s life? It is unfortunate that it was the police’s lackadaisical approach that caused the apex court to step in to ensure the case was followed up. It is important that the suspects are caught, prosecuted and punished if found guilty. It would send a powerful message that the high and mighty cannot get away with murder simply on the basis of their clout and connections.

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Comments (5)

January 3, 2013 6:57 pm
You have rightly noted the medieval mindset that is behind this episode and its subsequent handling by the police, perhaps at the behest of the major political party in power. But at the same time, in the other editorial, you seem to be upholding the very system that results in such tragedies, by eulogizing the so-called 'democracy' that returns to power, election after election, the very same feudals and others of the same or similar mindset. It would be more convincing if some kind of consistency is displayed in editorials, which reflect the newspaper's policies!
Dr. D. Prithipaul
January 3, 2013 6:15 pm
What is the meaning of a medieval mindset, when Islam was born in the period described by European historians as the Middle Ages. Violence is as natural to Islam as gravitational force is to the planet. It suffices to recall that only yesterday educated, full fledged lawyers showered rose petalson the killer of the Governor of Punjab. That was not due to a medieval mindset. But to an Islamic mindset.
January 3, 2013 5:15 pm
sorry to know about death of the young man. may his soul rest in peace.Amin i am a big fan of chief justice he is so kind and dutiful. He is having a kind eye on all affairs of the state as far as suo moto notice is concerned,but what happens to apex court when it comes to know the crushing and mastication of ''innocents'' in mastung (on almost basis) by terrorists and yet no RESPONSE,no NOTICE.Are they not Pakistani people?
January 3, 2013 6:48 am
No influential feudal has the right to rule us in such a manner! We will not let such mindset prevail any more! This is democracy, not autocracy of political families. Bhuttos who are such defenders of democracy must take notice of this heinous act!
Iftikhar Husain
January 3, 2013 12:45 pm
This is a big tragedy and injustice in this modern world. The culprits must be brought to justice at all cost.
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