KARACHI: Civil society organisations on Monday accused the prosecution department of using deliberate delaying tactics to avoid submission of the final charge sheet against influential suspects in the Nazim Jokhio murder case.
Nazim Jokhio was tortured to death at the farmhouse of PPP lawmakers Jam Awais and his MNA brother Jam Karim in Memon Goth on Nov 3, 2021 as he reportedly tried to prevent their foreign guests from hunting houbara bustards.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Anis Haroon of the National Commission for Human Rights alleged that the prosecution was using delaying tactics and had been taking dates for submission of the charge sheet.
“We went to see IG Police Mushtaq Mahar, who gave us information that police have submitted a challan to the prosecutor on Jan 8,” she said, adding that on Jan 22 a deputy prosecutor general again asked a Malir court for more time, which is now Jan 26.
Victim’s widow, mother say they are being pressurised for patch-up
“The accused are highly influential persons and prosecution seems to be under pressure,” she said.
She said it was a highly publicised case and the victim’s poor widow was suffering with four minor children and the whole civil society was perturbed at this situation.
“We as NCHR with Joint Action Committee (JAC) of civil society organisations are requesting Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to appoint special public prosecutors to proceed the case before any forum till the Supreme Court,” she said.
She said the murder was an act of terrorism as the whole village located at 45km away from Karachi was under fear, thus it should be transferred to an antiterrorism court for trial.
She asked as to why the foreign hunters were not named in the FIR. She hinted that the NCHR may become party to the case.
She disclosed that the NCHR drafted a letter to be sent to the PPP leadership to at least suspend the party membership of both the lawmakers nominated in the murder case.
She also criticised Sindh Governor Imran Ismail for publicly saying that “when Arabs come, they bring prosperity”.
She recalled that Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh had claimed that the federal government had set up a joint investigation team, but no action had been taken so far.
She regretted that neither Sindh nor the federal government were taking the case ‘seriously’.
She opined that this was a matter of rule of law and human rights as young Jokhio was brutally murdered with 217 marks of torture on his body as per doctors’ report.
Jokhio’s widow Shireen urged the government to remove the prosecutor from the case.
She said that Nazim’s brother, Afzal Jokhio, who is complainant in the case, was being pressurised to make a compromise with influential suspects.
She disclosed that even leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were bringing ‘messages’ to them for a patch-up.
She said they had no enmity with the accused and they were not against any party. She urged the PPP leaders to ensure justice.
Speaking on the occasion, the victim’s mother said they were being ‘pressurised’ to settle with MNA Jam Karim, who had reportedly fled the country.
She said they were poor and could not afford Rs4,000 on every hearing of the case.
JAC coordinator Mehnaz Rehman observed that Jokhio’s murder brought horrible situation and weakness of the system before them, as the young man was murdered just for raising his voice.
Shirin Asad of the Human Rights Defender (HRD) said this was the first time that the public prosecutor had deliberately not presented the charge sheet.
Woman Action Forum’s Anita Panjwani accused the government of destroying the case.
Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022