By Khalid Pervaiz (Booni)
The lacunas in the judicial system and the inept administration and police contribute to the surge in crimes that include child abuse, target killing, abduction for ransom and broad daylight robbery. The Criminal Procedure Code of Pakistan gives the benefit of doubt to the accused in criminal cases thereby acquitting the perpetrators of heinous crimes. More often than not, the police takes bribes and conceals facts in the first investigation report making it difficult for the court to convict the accused. If the accused happens to be a big-wig of some political or tribal faction, the victim family is often intimidated into retracting the case and the ocular witnesses to be presented before the court to record statements are eliminated from the scene to escape conviction. It’s on the record that all the witnesses in Wali Khan Baber case were ambushed to eliminate any trace of evidence for the conviction of the accused in the court.
The recurrent incidents of criminal acts calls for drastic changes in the criminal procedure code thereby giving due weight to forensic and circumstantial evidences collected from the crime scene to be presented as sufficient evidence against the accused for his/her conviction. The dispensation of speedy justice based on empirical evidence seems to be the sole remedy to check the spike in the crimes rate in the country vis-à-vis the downslide of collective moral norms in the society. Those Muslim countries like the Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran which hands down capital punishment to the culprits without mercy rank highest in the low crime rates. In contrast to that, our candle-light mafia resist the execution of those prisoners waiting in the death row crying hoarse for the commutation of their sentence aggravating further the deteriorating situation of crimes in the country.
Ironically, the rich and the mighty of this country are immune from the clutches of the law and are safe and secure inside their barricaded mansions and villas under the protection of foolproof security. The law of the land cannot touch their person because they consider themselves above the law. The tribal chiefs and landlords of this country are ill-famed for treating the people working as tenants under them as chattels denying to them the right to education and right to freedom of expression and thought. No one can challenge their authority. They are the ones who maneuver their way to the house of parliament through the vote of the suppressed and ignorant masses working as tenants and factory workers in their fiefdom. These people have their own parallel justice system that empowers them on occasions to parade naked the daughter of any helpless poor around the busy street at will.
In the Zainab murder case, had it not been for the intervention of media, the CJ Supreme court and the Chief of Army Staff, the serial killer and rapist would not have been apprehended promptly. The reason is that Zainab also comes from that wretched section of this country whose rights to justice have long been forfeited. Our heads bowed in shame when the CM Punjab rubbed salts into the wounds of the victim’s father at the press conference by denying him access to the mic and brazenly asking the audience to clap to celebrate the success of the JIT in nabbing the culprit. The CM without any qualms of conscience did his best to take political mileage by undermining the credentials of his rival party governments in other provinces. It appeared from the gesture of the CM as if he had conquered an enemy territory. Sanity demands that he should have mourned his failure to apprehend the serial killer earlier to avoid the perpetration of sexual abuse and murder of so many children of Kasur.
The constitution of Pakistan ensures equality of rights and justice to all irrespective of caste and creed. In contravention of the articles of the constitution, the corrupt rulers continue to suppress the masses denying them their due rights. Since its promulgation, they have been constantly amending this sacred document and keeping it at bay to serve their self-interests. The media should play a proactive role to sensitize the masses to struggle for the supremacy of law. Only the rule of law will protect the poor lot of this country from the menace of sexual abuse and harassment, extortion, fake police encounter and abduction for ransom.