August 29, 2017
By Saeed Qureshi
A few days ago, while watching television, all of sudden a snapshot appeared on the screen. It was a clip of video showing a boy lying with face downwards on the ground. It was the scene of a police station. The boy should be of 15-18 years of age. He was wearing a white pent and a reddish stripped shirt. Two policemen were also present in that room.
One of the police man was sitting towards the face of the boy. He was firmly holding his two arms. The other was sitting behind him. The policeman sitting behind him had a big leather slipper(shoe) in his hand. He was constantly hitting the boy’s buttocks. The boy was unable to move because his protruded hands were firmly gripped by the police man sitting in front of him. The boy seemed utterly helpless and in extreme agony.
The boy was perhaps rounded up in a public gathering and was brought to the police station for punishment. He might be one of the protesters and might be shouting like anyone else. Physically he looked so tender and skinny that he couldn’t have hit or harmed anyone in the crowd.
It seems that he was an easy catch by the sturdy and physically powerful persons dressed in the police uniforms. He was constantly being bludgeoned on his back. Since he was gripped by the arms he could not even move although pain caused by lashes must be unbearable. It was like of a sparrow clutched and torn off by hawks ruthlessly.
Ever since I have seen that horrifying footage I have been in a state of shock. I have tried to get some more details about this heart wrenching incident. I tried to see the newspapers and watch TV for a few days but there were not more details available in any outlet. Later I came to know that he died as a result of that merciless beating by the policemen.
A glimpse of his family members and parents was partially shown during his funeral. They were weeping and seemed to be in a state of utter shock and agony. The news and TV footage was later discontinued on the Television and other media outlets. It looks the police had prevailed on both print and electronic media to not pursue the case and publicize it further.
While I have been myself passing through an agonizing state of mind I am not aware if the culprit policemen were caught or the governor or the chief justice or the inspector general police force took any cognizance of this extreme brutality and rather murder. One could see utter helplessness on the face of that tender, slim and well-dressed teenage boy. He was not aware that these rascals would inflict so much of torture on him that he would not survive.
This kind of brutality and physical punishment is a norm in every police station in Pakistan. No one from among the lower and poor sections of society can pick up the courage to ask for justice and pursue the case in a court of law for two reasons. One is poverty and the other is the fear that they may also be caught and treated in the same brutal manner. Moreover, due to the lack of resources and knowledge of the court proceedings they cannot seek justice and thus such inhuman and savage treatment of the police on their innocent and not innocent captives goes on. The people, even otherwise, are psychologically afraid of the police and seeking redress of the grievous incidents like this boy remains a far cry.
Let me, in the hindsight, remind my readers about two gruesome and similar diabolical incidents that happened in Pakistan in the past. One was at Lahore in which one mad murderer killed about 100 children by suffocating them with poisonous gas. That killing spree continued for a long period of time. This most diabolic mass murder of innocent boys is perhaps the first in the criminal history of human beings. He couldn’t be caught by the police and ultimately, he himself surrendered at the office of Dailies “The News” and “Jang" in Rawalpindi. He was not hanged. He and his accomplices died in jail.
The second grisly incident happened in the city of Sialkot. In that incident two young brothers were killed by a group the powerful local mafia in broad day light and in collusion with the police. One can remember in the hindsight how the crowd was watching silently and with folded hands the lethal beating by the murderers on those two defenseless and surrounded boys. No one intervened to save those boys. The policemen were also part of that lynching scene of the youths of the Islamic republic of Pakistan. and watched those boys being killed by batons, kicks and sharp weapons.
Those people should still be living who watched those murders. No one intervened to save them. It looked as if the villains and non-Muslims were being killed by a frenzy crowd of fanatic Muslims and ruthless religious practitioners offering five prayers a day and soliciting the mercy of God for themselves.
Such is the horrific life in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where human life has no importance either for law, courts, judges, government functionaries, the religious zealots, the police force and even the people. We cannot categories such a society as inhabited by good Muslims, God fearing and merciful people. Instead they are worst hypocrites, superficially preaching Islamic virtues and norms of justice. This opinion is borne out by the indifference exhibited by the utterly callous onlookers of that one of the most heinous murders happening before their eyes. It is understood that after having seen those helpless boys killed in board day light by the ruffians, most of them must have headed to the mosques to say their prayers. What a rank hypocritical religious fervor!
No one is aware when law and order and concerned agencies would have heart and stop the highhandedness of the powerful classes and individuals against the poor, weak and defenseless citizens of the society. The rape and abduction of the young girls by the rich and dominant feudal lords and thugs have been variously reported. But the state doesn’t move and seems to be helpless in face of rich and resourceful sections of the society because both are chips of the same block.
The religious scholars and custodians of the faith seem to be utterly detached and different to such rampant lawlessness and brazen crimes which in fact should be their foremost responsibility and priority to attend. They are trying to make good Muslims through their foggy sermons and fighting sectarian feuds but cannot see such frightening incidents that destroy the peace of the society and cut across the pristine elements of faith that Islam ordains. One such element is to protect the vulnerable, ensure justice and punish the evildoers and law breakers.
The rulers and all those in power in politics or business come from the privileged and elite classes. They have manpower and money at their disposal to break law and get away with that. They take revenge and no one touch them.
The feudal lords rule over their serfs, tenets, farm labor and tillers working on the lands for ages like slaves. They give them a fraction their farm harvest just to sustain. They kill them if someone tries to run away. These people have been serving them on their lands since the colonial rule in the sub-continent.
When the common man and people keep suffering from innumerable issues ranging from poverty, denial of justice and social drawbacks and deformities. The rich and wealthy gloat over other miseries of less equals and the have-nots. They possess the political power, tons of money and clout to beat, kill, maim and kidnap anyone.
Was this the Pakistan that the founder of Pakistan Quaid -e- Azam and other torch bearers of the independence visualized. Quaid-e-Azam must be turning in his grave of what is happening in a Pakistan which was created in the name of religion and decent society.
Let us Look around and we shall realize that we have tuned barbarian, thugs. There is a rampant and deep divide between rich and poor, resourceful and resource-less, privileged and unprivileged, the powerful killers and their helpless victims.
Pakistan is in dire need of a French Revolution (1789-1799). It was a colossal revolution brought about by the peasants, laboring class and deprived sections of the society. A new France emerged after a prolonged phase of civil war, autocracy and dictatorship. “The Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, the emancipation of the individual, the greater division of landed property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth, enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy and the establishment of equality.” Thousands of people died in that revolution. Radical social change based on liberalism and Enlightenment principles were brought about. The then the king of France f Louis XVI was guillotined (public execution) in 1793.