A country where media men are allowed to openly incite hatred – where the interior minister unabashedly declares that terrorist organizations and those who slaughter human beings in the name of communalism are not equally bad – a country where activists and any dissenting Tom, Dick or Harry can be abducted in broad daylight, but nobody dares take the names of the kidnappers despite their identities being an open secret – is a country which feeds on the flesh and blood of its own citizens.
The police is busy playing “you know who” instead of producing the victims and their tormentors, as if naming names would cost these officers their jobs or perhaps much more. Tens of thousands of Pakistanis including Balochis, Pashtuns, Sindhis and Punjabis were reported missing without a hint during the past decade alone.
This puts question marks over the efficiency of the state’s intelligence work.
There came only one chief justice perhaps in the whole history of the country who felt strong enough to say No to the unconstitutional demands of a military dictator and for the first time also dared to say that the military intelligence produce these missing citizens or their chiefs themselves appear before the court at the next hearing.
This was for the first time that the government accepted the fact that some of the missing persons were actually abducted by our own law enforcement agencies giving inexplicable excuses, for example for producing one abducted citizen named Saud Memon before the court on a death bed.
Memon weighed on 18 kg at the time and passed away just a few days after his appearance in the court.
The citizens and the whole nation felt at ease after such heroics by a chief justice who also became famous for being champion of every petty problem of the people.
But alas all is lost and those were just a few months of relief for the country before everything came back to square one.
Saleem Shahzad had three small kids who still seek the answers about the death of their father. He was abducted and local residents later recovered his floating dead body from Upper Jhelum Canal the very next day of abduction. The kidnappers had inflicted perhaps the worst torture in recorded history that a journalist had to go through before his killing.
After his death an inquiry was ordered by then Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gilani and then a judicial commission was also setup.
The investigators worked day and night and recorded zillions of statements and caused stir across the world but none of his killers have been caught – or at least identified – till date.
The same went with the commission that was investigating the attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir and also those who were trying to probe discovery of mass graves in the middle of Baloch deserts or those who were looking for the clue about the critics of the state or establishment after they vaporized into the thin air like they had never existed.
No matter how much hope we try, we still can’t guaranty the safe recovery of Salman Haider or other activists who became the recent victims of the abductions phenomenon because the system that gives birth to such hostile environment for Pakistani prevails across the board.
The Pakistanis who are celebrating the abductions or killings are oblivious to the fact that their soft necks are also under the guillotine and those smart heads might be rolling with a single nod at any given time.
We should not forget that almost all sorts of Pakistanis have experienced this type of torture in past irrespective of being from left, right or the middle.