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"Justice & Only Justice"

"Justice & Only Justice"
 Posted on: 11/21/2014
Justice & only Justice
So you think that fake police encounters will solve the pertaining issues? Will all terrorists would be finished by this way? Will we be able to get rid of the menace of terrorism? Is it civilized whatever is being done? Picking up people from their places and killing them extra judicially in the name of so called police encounter. Does it happen in any of the countries in the world that claim to be giving the due respect to laws and constitutions? Can somebody be killed without trial and without conviction in any court of law? Can you counter terrorism with state terrorism?
None of the questions mentioned above would have their answer in a positive nod. History tells us that back in 1995~96 police had taken maximum liberty to exercise power and Mr. Naseer Ullah Babar was the interior minister Sindh and Mr. Rehman Malik was his right hand and state operation was underway against the then Mohair Qaumi Moment (Now Muttahida Qaumi Movement). Every other day, MQM’s activists were being killed extra judicially in fake police encounters and some of them were killed after pulling out from Jail custody. I can recall one such case and the victim was Faheem who was in jail custody. When police pulls out inmate from jail custody for investigation, they have to submit documents that ensure that they will bring back the inmate back to jail but unfortunately this did not happen with Fahim.
Almost every day Naseer Ullah Babar used to have press conference to glorify his achievements during that state operation. Journalists often used to have tough session with him because he was in favor of extra judicial killings and journalists were strictly against it. He often used to bear with very tough questions of journalists. A senior journalist Shamim Ur Rehman asked a question in a harsh and rigid tone, Naseer Ullah Babar replied, “Which tone are you talking in?” and Shamim promptly said with the same attitude. “The tone that you understand…!”. Naseer Ullah Babar did not respond to the question and started taking questions from other journalists present at the occasion. In a similar kind of press conference I got the news about the killing of Fahim and we were told that Fahim was taken by police to a place in Nazimabad for investigation and some of his accomplices tried to get him flee, they had an encounter with police and consequently Fahim was killed. I was a young reporter at that time and we had a culture to reach at the place of incident to report it with all relevant details. I went to the place with some of my colleagues to report the incident and found that it was a narrow street where only two vehicles could be parked at a time. The house where that encounter took place had bullet riddled Suzuki Hi-Roof parked there by the wall and the first floor of the house had blood stains and bullet shells could be seen all across. I wondered a police encounter on first floor…?? I did not accept it at that time and still do not believe in it that somebody would go to first floor to have an escape from police custody. It could not be a real police encounter and it cannot even happen today but Naseer Ullah Babar continuously insisted that it was a police encounter. He had given free hand to police and a lot of people were killed extra judicially including fake police encounters within police stations and some of the people were thrown from the roof top and got killed.
The MQM at that time was also pretty vocal about these extra judicial killing but everybody seemed to put a deaf ear on their cry. We did not even use to have civil society’s reaction at that time. I cannot even recall if human rights commission ever took it up at that time as it takes up issues these days. There were however a few journalists who stood up against these extra judicial killings. BBC had a few broadcasts and Herald also published a few stories but none of these could have a decisive impact and police continued to exploit law with full authority and force and the irony was that the police was being appreciated on these acts so one could expect anything.
In a similar incident in the area of 70- Clifton in Karachi, the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s brother Murtaza Bhutto was brutally killed along with his companions in a fake police encounter. All the journalist could feel the pain of Benazir when she was standing bear feet along with the dead body of her brother late night but it was not an appropriate time to tell her that she was the one who actually allowed extra judicial killings and gave this open hand to police.
After a few months Benazir’s government was dismissed and one of the reasons of government dismissal along with corruption was extra judicial killing and today after 18 years all those people who were extra judicially killed are asking for justice.
Have we been able to resolve the issues after so many police encounters? It can never happen! Because a sustainable peace can only be established by the rule of law. We should look for the reason as to why the whole civilized world believes in the rule of law and ensures to strengthen the system of law. Everyone should work within specified jurisdiction. The duty and responsibility of police is to investigate and interrogate and let the court prosecute. If the due procedures are not being followed and the court has concerns and reservation on investigation, one cannot expect the court to convict the accused on the wish of complainant.
The basic rule of justice is that a hundred culprits could be acquitted but not even a single innocent should be convicted or punished and courts across the world work by this principle. That is why the benefit of doubt is always granted to the accused. This is about the responsibility of the courts that have the authority to take the final verdict but nowhere police has the rights to kill anybody extra judicially.
It seems that across country the police has been given the same old open hand once again and in just last few months as many as 600 people have been killed extra judicially and rangers’ actions are separate from this. The deceased include both political activists and office bearers of different political parties. Just recently an office bearer of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Mufti Saifullah was gunned down in a fake police encounter and he was arrested from his place and a petition was also filed in a court about his arrest. Jamiat also protested and now hi-ups of police have promised to investigate it. Similarly MQM has also accused the police for killings its workers and activists extra judicially and Ehl-e-Sunnat Wal-Jamaat has also protested.
Ideally, every such killing should have strict and transparent judicial inquiry. The fact needs to be established whether it was a real police encounter or a police official has just cunningly do it for some vested interests with in the department.
Our executives must have the conviction that Quran emphasizes directs us to ensure justice and to kill anybody without being convicted is against the spirit of justice. We are not going to get the issues resolved if we do not change the course of action. Any action that contradicts with basic law is both illegal and immoral and one cannot expect to achieve positive results with such negative course of action. The whole civilized world knows this fact and the concerns here must realize it that justice is the only way forward. If we have justice prevailing and police performing the duties within its jurisdiction and eradicating the black sheep from their departments and judiciary should also focus on justice. That is the only way forward. 

10/20/2016 7:36:12 PM