STRAIGHT TALK

PART 2

Watching the recent events unfold in the country, I have taken the liberty to rephrase a few lines of the poem ‘Pity the Nation’ by Khalil Gibran:

 ‘Pity the Nation whose Self Above leaders of straw, who use their citizens as dispensable pawns in their deadly chess games’.

 ‘Pity the citizens who allow their power hungry leaders to lead them to the slaughterhouse like sheep’.

 ‘Pity the Nation which allows their sons and daughters to be slaughtered in the name of religion and still talk of friendship with the killers’.

 ‘Pity the Nation where rapists of minor girls go unpunished, women are maimed, burnt, mauled by vicious dogs and slaughtered under outdated, draconian tribal laws.   

 ‘Pity the Nation where Money talks and Honor and Justice walk and evil triumphs, as good men keep silent’.

 ‘And Pity the Nation, where pygmies cast long shadows on its soil, as it is an indication of approaching darkness for its citizens’.

In my opinion, the above few lines paint a sad picture of what we have done with the Quaid’s Pakistan. In a span of sixty-four years, we have forgotten the Quaid’s clarion call of FAITH – UNITY – DISCIPLINE and destroyed all that is good in government and society and replaced it with all that is evil and corrupt.

Our system of governance, law and order, social justice, corruption, etc., have destroyed our ethics and morals and the Rule of Law has been replaced by the Law of the Jungle and Might is Right.

In spite of the launching of Operation Clean Up, target killings continue unabated, forcing the longest serving Governor to leave the country and fly to Dubai, leading to speculations, that he had resigned and would not be returning to this burning and bleeding city, which he had tried to govern for over a decade. 

The disgruntled Governor has expressed his displeasure of being kept out of the loop and that he should be the one who should be handling the Clean Up Operation, forgetting that he too has been ineffective to end the carnage.  

Some political analyst’s are of the opinion that the PM-N government does not want Operation Clean Up to be successful and give credit to the PML-N government. Instead, it plans to introduce Governor’s Rule in Sindh and appoint Dr. M. as Governor, to end the carnage in the city.

But such a drastic change in the Sindh government could back-fire and unleash the Hounds of Baskerville and an all out battle for the control of the city, which would be difficult to stop without the intervention of the army.  

The release of the recently arrested MQM leader seems to indicate that the claim by its leaders, that the on going Operation Clean Up in the city is not what it claims to be and is being used to eliminate its workers. . 

While the recent gunning down of a leading PPP activist and worker has further raised the temperature of an over heated situation. Let us hope and pray that better sense prevails and Karachi does not plunge into a state of chaos and anarchy.

The killing of young Shahzeb, who was brutally gunned down in cold blood by Shahrukh Jatoi, in broad daylight and in front of his friends, had shocked the entire nation and stirred its conscience.

After hearing Shahzeb mother’s emotional and tearful appeal for justice, our electronic and social media, civil society and even the International press, had taken up the battle cry.

After weeks of continuous protests by civil society in almost all major cities of Pakistan, the LEAs were forced to lodge an FIR against Shahrukh, bring the killer back from the UAE and register a case against him. The activists were elated at the arrest, as it proved that there was justice even in Pakistan. 

Therefore, the surprising decision by the parents, to forgive the killer of their son under the Islamic Qisas and Diyad Law, had shocked the nation. By accepting millions of rupees and properties in different countries of the world, it has sadly shown that in Pakistan, Money Talks, while Honor and Justice Walk and if you are rich and powerful, then you can literally get away with murder.

It was the unkindest cut of all for those social media activists and civil society members, who had held protests and night vigils to demand justice and then to find out that the parents had forgiven the killers of their son for money.

The pardon by Shahzeb’s parents has unleashed a hot debate and has been challenged by the Honorable Courts and even some members of the legal fraternity and civil society, who claim that under the Anti-Terrorism law, criminals cannot be freed, as heirs of the victim cannot forgive terrorists.

The trend of forgiving the killers of innocent citizens by misusing the Islamic Laws, was set into motion by the infamous Raymond Davis case, in which the parents of the slain son, also forgave the American agent after being given a lucrative cash compensation. Such is the travesty of law in this land of the Pak and the Pure.

It also reminds us of Gen. Musharraf’s inappropriate remark, that Pakistani women allow themselves to be raped, so that they can get visas for America and Canada. The recent out of court settlements for cash and other compensations sadly reflect how low we have sunk.  

If this trend continues, then there are dangers, that the entire system of justice would collapse and rapists, murders and assassins would roam free in our cities, to rape and kill at will and ‘buy’ their freedom.

At the same time, there is another debate raging over the talks with the Taliban. Some are of the opinion that this thorny and burning issue can only be resolved through dialogue.

While the hawks are of the opinion that we cannot afford to sleep with the enemy, as once the Americans have gone, the Afghanistan Taliban will support and combine with the Pakistan Taliban to take over the State of Pakistan.

And if we refuse to accept this harsh reality and take corrective action, then the future looks bleak for this country.

So dear friends, tighten your belts, put on your crash helmets and cross your fingers and hope for the best, as we are in for another bumpy ride.  Till then, try and stay safe.

n The writer can be reached at trust@helplinetrust.org