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Torturing suspects is inhuman and barbaric

Torturing suspects is inhuman and barbaric
 Posted on: 5/5/2016 1
Torturing suspects is inhuman and barbaric  
The death of a Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker as he was taken to a hospital from judicial custody of the Rangers has raised questions about the validity of Rangers-led operation in Karachi. Aftab Ahmed, an aide of the senior leader of MQM, Dr Farooq Sattar, was picked up from his residence on May 1 and was produced in an anti-terrorism court the next day. He died within 48 hours of his detention, and his mysterious death has put a question mark on the working of Rangers. The Rangers claim that Ahmed died of a cardiac arrest while the MQM allege that their party member was tortured during interrogation, which led to his death as there were clear marks of torture on his body. Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar has accepted that the deceased MQM worker was tortured by Rangers in custody. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif has ordered an inquiry into the death of the MQM activist, while an unspecified number of personnel have been suspended for their alleged involvement in the killing.

Transparent investigation must be conducted into the killing and the culprits must be punished accordingly. Despite the questionable past of the MQM, extrajudicial killings cannot be justified in any circumstances. If any criminal element or extortionist is acted against, he must be arrested and tried in court irrespective of his political inclination. The rule of law should prevail otherwise the situation will go from bad to worse. Being the ruling party in Sindh, the Pakistan People’s Party must take responsibility for stopping extrajudicial killings in Karachi. Instead of indulging in petty politics, all parties should work towards reconciliation and peace. Progress and economic development of Pakistan is dependent on a peaceful environment in Karachi. It is the responsibility of all political parties to jointly work for ensuring durable peace in Karachi as it is in the larger national interest.

The Rangers were deployed in Karachi because of the poor policing situation in the port city. The idea was that the Rangers would help maintain peace until the police become efficient enough to deal with the poor law and order situation, a dream that has not come true since 1989 when the Rangers were posted in Karachi. Despite the credit that must be given to the Rangers for their good work in Karachi, there are many who are questioning the validity of certain actions of the Rangers, the judicial torture of Ahmed being one. And that the Rangers have ended up becoming a police force in military uniform. How can the Rangers ensure dissemination of justice when it is not their mandate to meddle in civilian affairs? Who will supervise the operation and take necessary corrective measures? The concerned authorities need to wake up and take up their responsibilities of fixing those problems that have invited intervention by the armed forces in the shape of Rangers. The drive being launched against the opposition parties should be monitored, and every suspect should be produced in the court along with solid proof before his prosecution. It is also the responsibility of the federal government that it should not allow security agencies to act arbitrarily without following the law of the land. If the state institutions will not adhere constitutional norms, the law of the jungle will prevail and nobody will be safe in this country. There must be an end to the arbitrary style of working by state institutions. *
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10/28/2016 6:37:23 PM