Published On: Wed, Oct 20th, 2010

Sialkot Tragedy – Justice is yet to be Served

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Faizah Gilani.

The tragic Sialkot incident that took place during the holy month of Ramadhaan must still be fresh within the minds of many. It is very hard to forget what happened to the two brothers, Muneeb and Mugheez Butt and the torture that the two young boys endured at the hands of a heartless and brainless mob in the early hours of the morning. After being subjected to horrific beating, both boys lost their lives and as if that was not enough to satisfy the sick minded mob, they hung the dead bodies for all to see. They all stood there, some laughing, some feeling proud and there were those that made videos of the horrific incident.

As the videos spread through the media like wildfire, there was so much coverage and a great deal of talk about serving justice and hanging the culprits at the exact spot where the innocent brothers were lynched. But after weeks of condemnation, people now seem to have lost interest in the Sialkot case and voices calling for justice seem to have silenced. Initially a number of arrests were made after the Supreme Court took notice of the horrific incident. After going on the run, DPO Chauhan was also arrested due to negligence and failure to stop the mob. How tragic that a man of the law was present during this tragedy, but chose to encourage the culprits. But after the arrests, media attention fizzled out and people stopped talking about it. And today no one is calling for justice. Everyone is silent on the matter.

Unfortunate circumstances within Pakistan did not help the Sialkot case either. The nation was engulfed in a depressing mood following the terrible floods and the vicious cycle of violence has continued. This did not help and led to further disinterest for justice. But regardless of what happens in the country, ultimately justice should be served and those that have committed a crime should be punished for their deeds. There is no point in making tall claims and big promises, which was the case with Rehman Malik and the Sharif brothers. They went to the home of the victims and vowed that they will get justice. But for now those promises remain hollow because the family is still waiting for justice to be done so that the two boys can rest in peace.

Who can ever forget the emotional appeal made by the mother of the two boys? Only a stone hearted person would not be moved by her touching words. The parents of the boys have been extremely patient and have endured the pain of losing two sons with a great deal of dignity. It is hard to imagine what they must have gone through during that time and what they must have gone through during that time and what they must be feeling right now. Yesterday they were mourning the loss of their sons and today they are hurting over the fact that the process towards justice has been extremely slow. Condemnation is just part of the process towards justice. But there is no point in condemning such actions if the incident is swept under the carpet. The family of Muneeb and Mugheez are still waiting for the culprits to be punished and the waiting is the most painful part of all this.

But justice should be served not only for the two brothers, but for all to see. Harsh punishments should be carried out so that people think twice before taking up the role of judge, jury and executioner, on the streets. No one has the right to take the law into their own hands and no one but God has the right to take away a person’s life. The culprits involved in the Sialkot incident should be punished so severely that people will think twice before committing such a crime. But if the culprits do not get the harshest punishment possible, then others will start to think that they too would be able to get away with such crimes. And let us not be under any illusion – this has not been the first case of senseless killing and unfortunately it will not be the last. Such crimes need to carry harsh prison sentences so that a message is sent into society loud and clear.

And what will happen if justice is not done? Not only would it torment the family of Muneeb and Mugheez for the rest of their lives, it would also create bitterness and anger towards the higher authority. What the family has lost is beyond our comprehension. What are also dangerous are the implications of this case on Pakistani society in the future. Pakistan runs the risk of becoming a lawless society, a nation that becomes immune to such violence. And it will further damage Pakistan’s image on an international level. There already is an opinion within the West that Pakistan breeds terrorists. Following the tragedy in Sialkot, there are those that are beginning to think that Pakistan is a barbaric society.

Recently there has been no positive news regarding the Sialkot case and there have been rumours that some of the barbaric men involved are still on the loose. If the culprits involved do not get what they deserve then it will be a huge shame on Pakistan’s justice system. There is absolutely no reason why these men should not receive the harshest punishment possible. And this does not end after the men are punished. Discussions need to continue as to what has gone wrong within society and why people are becoming so intolerant and violent towards each other. Turning a blind eye never solves anything. The flaws within society need to be addressed in order for Pakistani society to better itself.

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