Shahzeb’s Murder, The Pardon, The Nemesis of Society


The killing of Shahzeb was brutal and there is hardly anyone who did not condemn it. The influential and powerful murderers have finally had a new lease of life: the parents of Shahzeb have filed in a request to pardon the murderers “in the name of Allah.” But wait, the criminals were living a far better life behind bars than the majority of this country and would continue to do so. 

The Twitter is awash with tweets that either slam the parents’ decision or bemoan the justice being denied. Personally, I believe the parents’ decision will save their remaining family from further threats and Shahzeb’s friends too who were clamoring for justice. Given our lopsided and not-so-just criminal justice system, any struggle for justice was bound to be an exercise in futility.

The idea that the murderers would have met their fate through the legal proceeding is more amusing than that of Pakistan dropping nukes on India next year. Then there are some people who show skepticism over parents’ reasoning behind the pardon. Some speculate the powerful Sayeen family coerced them into making such a decision but the fact remains it had to be the only fallout of the case.

Others may suggest the decision was influenced by the greed for money but this would only add to the misery of a family that lost its only son to a hypocrite, divided, and voiceless society. The religious segment that favors capital punishment did not stir any campaign for it.  No rallies, no press-conferences, the boy was killed over a personal dispute that did not have an iota of religious or sectarian controversy. The case of civil society and NGOs is even more curious.

They want equal rights and justice for all but don’t gun for capital punishment or an end to status-quo. They dub it a “murder-for-murder” and quickly pose questions like: why kill a human being who killed another human being and will not return? As Dostoevsky puts it “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

The Sayeen had all the freedom and privileges in prison while the public(mostly favoring the death penalty in this particular case) sapped its energy on streets, facebook, and before TV screens. We have enough of religious, cultural and social values. We don’t need some more. All we need is kill off the religious, cultural, and political godfathers that feed themselves on our blood, sentiments, loyalties, and obsessions.    


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