Pakistan’s 2018 has so far been a social and political chaos – Zainab and Asma’s rape and murder rocked the country’s foundations. Naqeebullah Mehsud’s alleged encounter and Intezar Ahmed’s cold-blooded murder is yet another feather in the hat of the country’s prolonged history with police shenanigans. Tanzila and the Model Town tragedy is a prime example of how people of Pakistan continue to face deprivation of their constitutional rights at the hands of those with constitutional authority. Shahzeb’s lynching highlights the egoist attitude of some of the country’s feudal units, who continuously silence resistance and more to that, Shahzeb’s case pinpoints quite possibly one of the country’s gravest yet the most over-looked dilemma of sexual/public harassment faced by women.
There are a lot of parallels in the aforementioned cases. First of all, none of the victims have been served justice. In fact, the culprits/suspects roam free due to criminal lack in accountability. Secondly, these cases are a particular example(s) of a universal problem within Pakistan. Child sexual abuse is so rarely accounted for, while in reality, instances of such human brutality occur more frequently than what we see on the news. Police shenanigans – one could think of a profusion of occasions where the police showed the general public of its trustworthyness-NOT. Naqeebullah and Intezar are two out of a possible many who had to face the wrath of Pakistan’s internal cadre.
One may say that Tanzila was already a victim of Pakistan’s growing trend of political chauvinism before being a victim of inhumane attitudes, nowhere does vehement political patriotism, however, equate to a death penalty e.g. an extra-judicial killing. In truth, Tanzila and fellow-protesters were exercising their constitutional right and had the matter been handled more rationally, Tanzila would have been part of the present. There are numerous others options to disperse the protesters than to shoot straight at them.
Shahzeb Khan’s murder allegedly resulted due to his resistance against eve-teasing. He was murdered because, according to eye witnesses, he disapproved the antics of around four feudal kids. This promotes a dangerous rhetoric that if one’s rich and influential, one can get away with absolutely anything. In the case’s 4-year-long history, prime suspect and aides have been sentenced to death, lifetime in prison and just recently granted bail. Such is the inconsistent approach to justice in Pakistan.
As of today, all of the above mentioned individuals had the unfortunate privilege of becoming twitter trends. #JusticeForZainab, #JusticeForAsma, #JusticeForNaqib, #JusticeForIntezar, #JusticeForTanzila and #JusticeForShahzeb. If cases such as these, which have shared the spotlight and have consistently been streamed on mainstream and social media, go unnoticed, imagine the scenario at a mass-level. Justice, in its absolute sense, would not come through hashtags – it would rather come through a shift in ideas, beliefs, paradigms and structures. Justice would not be served as long as promotion of equality and elimination of discrimination will not be ascertained, and more so, justice would not be achieved until and unless masses are educated.