KARACHI: A crisis has developed for the Sindh government of Pakistan Peoples Party after a sitting MPA allegedly killed a young man who made a video of some foreigners hunting houbara bustard, as an autopsy report confirmed on Saturday ‘severe torture’ as the cause of the victim’s death while the prime minister also took notice of the incident.
Mounting pressure on the provincial government, the federal government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf expressed the resolve that justice would be provided to the victim’s family as Prime Minister Imran Khan took a direct interest in the matter.
The autopsy report and the PM’s notice of the incident made the matter more concerning for the provincial government as PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was booked for the murder of young Nazim Jokhio, was remanded in police custody for three days on Friday after he surrendered before law enforcers.
However, despite repeated demands from the victim’s family and assurances of the Sindh government, the provincial authorities had not yet set up a joint investigation team (JIT) for the case, as they formed an inquiry committee comprising all police officers.
Says PM has taken notice of this brutality; post-mortem finds signs of severe torture
Federal govt intervenes
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail visited the residence of the victim in Thatta where he offered condolences to his family and assured them that he would employ ‘every possible effort’ to provide them justice.
In his brief interaction with the media after meeting the family, the governor came with a message from Prime Minister Khan for the family. “I was asked by the prime minister to immediately visit the aggrieved family,” he said.
“The family is not yet satisfied with the investigation and they want it to be done by an independent JIT. The Sindh government is not paying any heed to their requests. Now I will take this up with the PM and request him to play his role and set up a JIT to investigate the murder of Nazim Jokhio. We are not going to spare those involved in this brutality.”
He said formation of a JIT at the federal level was under consideration and it would include top federal investigation agencies and also provide the bereaved family legal assistance by to properly fight the case.
He, however, said that the man was not murdered because of the issue of Arab hunters of houbara bustards, as they whenever arrived for hunting always brought prosperity for the area and area people.
Although the Sindh governor did not explain the authority of the federal government to set up a JIT, which is solely a provincial subject and deal by the home department, a senior lawyer said that the prime minister and the federal government could only set up a ‘special investigation team’ comprising officials of the federal institutions.
“The JIT is a mandate of the provincial government and that’s why despite having members from seven different intelligence, investigation and law enforcement agencies, it’s always headed by a police officer,” said the lawyer.
Meanwhile, the Sindh governor challenged the Sindh chief minister to launch an investigation into the Jokhio murder case while terming it a test case for him.
However, the governor also expressed doubts that despite being the chief executive of the province, the chief minister might side with the PPP in the critical matter.
“It’s so unfortunate that many members of the PPP in Sindh Assembly are facing criminal charges. However, they are enjoying the PPP’s blessing and key positions in the provincial government,” he added.
Autopsy report reveals ‘brutal torture’
The report of the post-mortem examination of 27-year-old Jokhio, conducted by doctors at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, revealed ‘severe torture marks’ on the whole body of the victim.
Additional Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed said the autopsy was carried out by Dr Mohammed Areeb at the JPMC mortuary and it showed that there were “bruises all over the body including head”.
The victim also suffered internal bleeding caused by severity of the torture.
“The body bore torture marks inflicted by hard and blunt objects,” said the senior doctor. There were also marks of severe beating on private parts of his body. Multiple bruises seen all over the face purple red in colour,” said contents of the autopsy report reviewed by Dawn on Saturday.
It also found that the both eyes were ‘swollen with deep bruises’.
Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2021