Friday April 19, 2024

We shall overcome?

January 22, 2019

The CTD’s encounter in Sahiwal resulted in the death of four people, three of the same family. As per the CTD’s report, the law-enforcement agencies were after the driver who had affiliations with Daesh. The matter became complicated when eyewitnesses informed that the victims were unarmed and there was no retaliation from their side. The victims’ families also denied the allegations that first become the premise of the official narrative. After the media highlighted the incident, condemnations poured in from across the country. The government, as usual, ordered the relevant authorities to form a joint investigation team to probe the incident. Whether or not the victims were terrorists, it is valid to feel angry over the fact that a teenage girl was killed and a 10-year-old boy was injured in the encounter. The case of Naqeebullah Mehsud, who was killed in an encounter last year, is still not resolved. This recent unfortunate incident has added insult to the injury. The irony is that in such cases victims’ families have to run from the pillar to post to seek justice. Law-enforcement personnel must uphold the principle of the presumption of innocence. The state must grant the fundamental right to a fair trial to every citizen. The honourable chief justice of Pakistan must ensure that every citizen of the state enjoys this fundamental right.

Sohail Anwar

Lakki Marwat