The murder of Qutub Rind, a student of National College of Arts (NCA), is not an ordinary case. The murderers including Ahsan, the landlord of the flat where Qutub used to live, argue that they killed Qutub for committing blasphemy. It is noteworthy that nowadays, people are using the charge of blasphemy against the murdered ones quite frequently as a defence for their heinous crimes. Hardly a year ago, was Mashal Khan killed on similar charges. In both cases, allegations of blasphemy proved to be false. Accusing someone of blasphemy, killing him/her or along with entire family and getting away with murders on the accusation of blasphemy defines the limitation of the criminal justice system of Pakistan
It’s heart-wrenching to note that the criminal justice system of the land is continuously failing in stopping people from taking the law into their hands. People accuse others of blasphemy quite quickly because the state has indirectly encouraged a culture where emotions take precedence over reason. The legal system of the land many a time overlooks people who abuse the religion to seek a personal vendetta against their opponents. The murder of Qutub is a case in point; police have confirmed the reason for his murder was a rental dispute, not blasphemy.
How did the murderers manage to escape the law for so long, considering the fact that they committed murder on the 17th of July 2018? The murderers were successful because they hurled the charges of blasphemy against the victim. Hence the state was unable to apprehend them.
The state, in the past, quite coldly encouraged literature, art, and cinema that glorified religious fanatics and zealots. Ghazi Alm Din is still a hero for many in this country. They revere Jinnah, the founding father of the nation who in his 11th August speech envisioned a secular state, precisely for defending Ghazi before the court. As late as 2002, famous film star Momar Rana played the lead role in one of the Lollywood movies, Ghazi Alm Din. As Amir Cheema was arrested in Germany for a failed attempt of killing the editor of a daily for reprinting cartoons of Muhammad, many eminent journalists hailed him a martyr.
Considering the apologetic stances of all mainstream political parties over the issue of blasphemy and finality of Prophethood of Muhammad, there is not much to hope from them. Jibran Nasir is alone in his fight against the religious fundamentalism and abuse of religion. The state should borrow some courage from Jibran to ensure that the murderers of Qutub do not go free.