By Tanveer Jafri : Formed in 1947, with intent to establish an Islamic state, Pakistan can today be seen crushing every single Islamic teaching and ideal. The Holy Quran clearly prohibits any kind of ill-treatment of any innocent. It equates killing of an innocent with the killing of entire humanity. Dozens of innocent people are getting killed in Pakistan on a daily basis- sometimes in the hands of the Taliban and suicide bombers and sometimes by the security forces themselves. Many mysterious deaths are even said to be the handiwork of the ISI and the Army.Recently, a 40-year old journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was killed just because he was doing his job honestly. On May 31, Shahzad had to lay his life for exposing the unholy nexus between the Pakistani Navy and Al Qaeda. “Islamic” rulers of an “Islamic” country couldn’t tolerate the truth being brought to the fore by a true Muslim journalist. In this flagrant case of Human Rights violation, not only an innocent has been killed but also an attempt has been made to suppress the freedom of the Press. Reportedly, the ISI is said to be behind the assassination of Saleem Shahzad.
Within a week of this ghastly incident, another gruesome act of Human Rights violation took place in Karachi on June 8. Sarfaraz Shah (19) was dragged out of a park by a man in plain clothes. He was pushed towards a group of Sindh Rangers, a paramilitary force, who were in uniform and armed. The unarmed young man pleaded for his life as one of the Rangers pointed a gun at his neck. The Ranger then shot him twice at close range, hitting him in the thigh. The young man was writhing on the ground, bleeding heavily and crying for help. Shortly after, he died from his injuries.
A journalist made an amateur video of this horrendous act. This disturbing video has been watched widely across the world. Pak Rangers didn’t like their inhuman act being exposed. Now, they have threatened the journalist, who made that video, of dire consequences. But killing of innocent Sarfaraz didn’t go down well the Pak judiciary. Taking suo motu cognizance of this gruesome act, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry not only ordered the removal of the Pak Rangers Director, Major General Ejaz Chaudhry and Police Commissioner Fayyaz Leghari but also directed the Accountant General to withhold their salaries if its orders were not carried out. On this heart-rending act of Human Rights violation, the Chief Justice observed, “Rangers were indulging in target killing instead of stopping it.” In their defence, Pak Rangers are alleging that Sarfaraz was involved in a robbery, whereas his relatives are saying that Sarfaraz was just walking in the park. The Supreme Court has also ordered the verification of Sarfaraz’s past crime record, if any.
Many sincere and responsible people in Pakistan have expressed concern over this incident. The worries of the Pakistani people are accentuated by the fact that Pak Rangers are an indispensable component of Pakistan’s internal security and work directly under the Interior Ministry. Therefore, such an act of daylight killing of an innocent puts a big question mark on the working of the internal security system of Pakistan. Though Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has order an enquiry into it, Prime Minister Gilani is not fine with the criticism of Pak Rangers. Defending the Rangers on the floor of the National Assembly, he said “state institutions cannot be blamed for the actions of some individuals.”
If evidences of each and every incident are collected, Pakistan will certainly top the list of countries witnessing Human Rights violations. In a similar incident on 17 May this year, five unarmed Chechens (3 men and 2 women) were killed by the Pakistani security forces in Kharotabad near Quetta. Among the deceased women, one was 7 months pregnant whom the ‘brave’ troops shot 12 bullets. When faced with criticism, Pak Army contended that three of them were suspected suicide bombers; even though no arm or weapon is recovered from their possession. But the charge on troops is that they tried to molest a Chechen girl. When she and her colleagues resisted, the soldiers shot them dead in cold-blood.
When everyone in Pakistan ranging from suicide bombers, terrorists, extremists, tribal councils and clerics is in the business of denying and crushing the fundamental Human Rights of the common people, replication of such cruel and inhuman acts by the Pak security and intelligence agencies will lead Pakistan nowhere but only make the country a ‘leader’ in Human Rights violation.