THIS refers to the report ‘Swat ATC judge among four killed in ‘targeted attack’ near Ambar Interchange in KP’ (April 4). The murder of a judge and three members of his family on the M-1 motorway has sent shockwaves throughout the country. Apart from the judge, his wife, daughter-in-law and grandson were also murdered in cold blood.

The brutal attack, which appears to have been a targeted one, took place despite the judge having a security detail. This raises questions over both the standard and quantity of security, especially since the judge was on the bench of Swat’s anti-terrorism court (ATC).

Reports suggest that the attack was motivated by some ‘personal enmity’, which is a catch-all term often used by law-enforcers once they are unable to have any leads. Although a first information report (FIR) has been lodged against five named suspects, the fact is that any ATC judge has hundreds, if not thousands, of very dangerous ‘enemies’.

It would not be surprising if the attackers were part of some larger conspiracy. The victims of the attack are not just those that were killed or injured. The victims also are many Pakistanis who will worry that other ATC judges might think twice before issuing a verdict while dealing with dangerous terrorists or gangsters.

Any ‘tough talk’ about not being influenced by threats or such incidents often means nothing. Judges are also humans. Even the bravest judge — one willing to place his/her life on the road for justice — might consider if his/her entire family was in danger. A functioning justice system requires security for all parts of the system.

While no amount of security can completely eliminate crime, catching those carrying out murders on motorways should be easy business.

It is good to know that five suspects have now been arrested in the said case. We can only hope that due justice will be handed out to the murderers so that judges may be able to dispense justice without any fear.

Nimra Haque
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2021

Opinion

Pak-Saudi relations
Updated 17 May 2021

Pak-Saudi relations

Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, will be key to Pakistan’s economic recovery in a post-Covid context.
Cuisine and culture
17 May 2021

Cuisine and culture

There is a drive towards the creation of a ‘national cuisine’ landscape as well as greater insight into region-based diversity.
Cooperation or conflict?
Updated 17 May 2021

Cooperation or conflict?

The fear of an economic and technological rival has created insecurities being reflected today in US behaviour.

Editorial

Palestine bloodbath
Updated 17 May 2021

Palestine bloodbath

One wonders whether the right of self-defence allows a country to butcher toddlers and the disabled, as Tel Aviv has done in Gaza.
17 May 2021

Registering madressahs

DURING the past two decades, several attempts by successive governments to standardise and regularise madressahs ...
17 May 2021

LSM growth

THE robust growth in large-scale industrial output since July last year has generated a kind of economic optimism...
16 May 2021

Riyadh-Tehran thaw

SEVERAL official pronouncements over the last few days have confirmed that efforts are underway behind the scenes to...
16 May 2021

Ruthless evictions

FOR a state to deprive residents of their homes without providing for alternative housing for them is a dereliction...
16 May 2021

Wheat concerns

THE new official projections for provisional wheat output suggest that Punjab may harvest around 20.5m tonnes of...