Anti-torture legislation: Denying free reign to ‘official tyrants’

By: Asem Mustafa Awan

Many lives were lost and no one was held responsible and the list is endless. ‘Land of the Pure’ needs to be purged from the tyrants who use their official position in making lives miserable for citizens.

There is nothing that exists for filing official complaints and Prime Minister Complaint Portal is a step in the right direction that needs to devolve and delegate the powers while keeping an overall look at the ‘solved’ problems.

The complaints as stated by the Prime Minister Portal are in millions and how many have been solved is a question that has no correct statistics available.

The need of the hour is to segment the complaints and identify the reason for the origin and what made people approach the Prime Minister. It is no secret that behind the majority of the complaints it is the ‘men in the uniform’ the so-called public servants who have stained it with the blood of the innocents.

This is no secret that dealing with police if turned sour can result in one either becoming a ‘terrorist’ or a ‘noted dacoit’ having head money announced by the government

The murder in broad daylight of a family in Faisalabad is not forgotten which was survived by minors only, the Model Town murders are still there despite videos, Abid Boxer Punjab’s known encounter specialist needs no introduction, Rao Anwar from Sindh and above all Mufakhar Adeel who murdered former Additional Advocate General Shahbaz Tatla.

These individuals have in the past enjoyed limitless perks owing to their uniforms and stained the department to be placed in the bottomless pit and are abhorred.

The modus operandi by these ‘so called public servants’ is like a pack pouncing at the prey (common man). These people have no identifications on their uniform or numbers which can identify if anyone wants to proceed against them in the court of law.

The prey, the common man, in most cases if short of identification, vehicle registration or any other thing is penalized and the only solution is nothing but greasing the palms of these corrupt officials who are above the law and cannot be questioned.

A breath of fresh air has emerged in a system which is a quagmire of corruption and incompetency. The Upper House (Senate) of Pakistan passed a bill that any custodial killing will be deemed punishable with ten years imprisonment added with a fine of Rs 2 million.

Land of the pure has countless cases where not hundreds but thousands have died in police custody and their heirs have run from pillar to post to get justice.

How many have died in police custody in current regime, the list goes on and on, while the preceding regimes with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People Party there were people who were serial killers and murderers wearing uniform.

These ‘murderers’ wearing the uniform go on rampage against innocent civilians who were gunned down at police pickets and in fake encounters.

Not long ago, Osama Satti was murdered in the federal capital. Police claimed that the ‘deceased’ fired on them while the circumstantial evidences and the family tell the otherwise.

This is no secret that dealing with police if turned sour can result in one either becoming a ‘terrorist’ or a ‘noted dacoit’ having head money announced by the government. This is the case if one stays alive to face the judge. The worst case scenario has the person (dead body) either carrying arms or was in possession of drugs which the ‘model police’ stopped and nipped the evil in the bud.

All cities in Pakistan have a story and more of these killers who for their lust of blood, killed innocent people for nothing and went on their ways without any remorse and without any punishment.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has pointed it time and again that social justice forms the very key of national development and it is but this very department that thwarts ‘his dream’ which is the key for the national uplift.

Prime Minister Imran Khan must seek a report from the respective Inspector Generals of Police in all the provinces to get the list of the police officials who have criminal cases and are accused of gross misconduct.

This list of the black sheep in the department never see the daylight and it is believed that majority of the force which has taken the shape of ‘brutal bully’ has become incorrigible.

Many dead bodies paved the way for the law that is passed in the Senate but the question remains will National Assembly do the same so that there is a hope for the innocent.

This should end now as Pakistan which is ‘projected’ in progressing leaps and bound should harness these ‘killers in uniform’

There should be IDs attached with these public servants who thrive on public money and suck their life out of them as every police station in Pakistan has blood of the innocent oozing out from its foundations and the killers just sit and thrive at the life of the poor which has no say in the corrupt system.

These killers apply pressure on the deceased family in reconciliation where is the state which in the hour of need ditch its subjects.

This reconciliation should not be the option in the case of custodial killings as it is a ‘planned and intentional murder’.

The writer is Special Correspondent at The Dayspring