Justice For Shahzeb Khan


“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain which grows flowers, not thunder.” – Jalal uddin Rumi

225th day of December, celebrated around the world as a day of joy and happiness, a day marking the arrival of the great Messiah. In Pakistan, the day takes another meaning, the day of the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, a man of principles, who set in the very foundation of Pakistan, peace, coexistence, equality, freedom and liberty.

The day, however, was not so jolly for the Khans, residents of Karachi, Pakistan, who were busy burying the only son of the family, a 19 year old, Shahzeb Khan, whose crime was standing up against harassment his sister faced by a servant of the “powerful”. The news spread and took over the entire nation like wildfire. Within a couple of days of the incident, “In Memory of Shahzeb Khan” had more than 50,000 subscribers. The express tribune covered the story in detail and the same was published onDecember 27, 2012. The friends and family of the deceased announced a protest to be held on December 30, 2012, simultaneously in Karachiand LahoreSocial Media was taken over and #JusticeForShahzebKhan (initially) and #Justice4ShahzebKhan at a later stage, seemed to be the only thing the nation had to talk about.

Soon enough, various political parties joined the cause. During a visit by PTI leadership at the Khans residence, Aurangzeb, Shahzeb’s Father, appreciated the solidarity shown and requested to not turn it into a political row. Rather, he wished for people to join in the name of humanity and justice, vowing to not letting this happen to another Shahzeb. Amidst all this, on 29th day of December, it was reported by Tribune that the suspects have been able to evade police at Dadu and were not captured. Surely the evasion may well be questioned. Were they actually that clever and quick or was a clean passage given since even registering an FIR had proven to be challenging against the alleged powerful murderers.

On December 30th, 2012, in Karachi, scores showed up at the Press Club, expressing sorrow and demanding justice. However, it was disturbing to note that a cause purely humanitarian called for by the loved ones of the deceased had turned into political rallies. While the involvement of the parties and support may be greatly appreciated, Aurangzeb’s request of not carrying party flags was completely ignored. It was difficult to ascertain whether a protest was being attended or a political rally.

bSubsequently, the closed ones and the not so closed ones who were there for support decided to move away and carried on towards Sea View near the Khan residence. It was heartwarming to note that the number of fellow humans were much larger in that group. This group largely included family, friends, neighbors and people not known but this incident had brought them close like family.e

dThe protestors gathered some ways away and started walking slowly towards the residence. The crowd seemed to have grown to hundreds. Sea View, Karachi was echoing chants of “We want justice”, “Aurangzeb, we are with you” and so forth. Pain and anger could be felt in each and every single voice as it got louder and louder. Soon, the entire street was jam packed with those who turned up for the cause, against the rampant mockery of justice by the elite and powerful who seem to think they are above the law.

The protest ended as Aurangzeb spoke and addressed the crowd thanking and asking each to do this, not only for his son but for every son. Since majority present were young, the need to raise the voice against this and other injustices was emphasized upon and the protest ended with a prayer and a call to not be at rest till the culprits are put to task.i

gOnly if we all could join in, leaving politics aside, surely would have been a great gesture. But then again, what better event for point-scoring, than death of a 19 year old which has left the entire nation in grief, sorrow and anger.

Here is looking forward to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of this incident and ensuring that impartial inquiry is conducted and adequate action is taken. People need to feel democracy in their daily lives. However, as long as we have individuals assuming to be above the law and being successful, all we can do is call it a democracy.
jViews contained herein are personal, as a neighbor, a participant and an observer and by no means reflect opinion of the family.

This is a cross post from http://baahirezaman.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/justice-for-shahzeb-khan/

The writer,Ali Rehman is a banker by profession & based in Karachi.

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  • AGHA ALI MOOSAVI  On December 31, 2012 at 1:40 am


  • Shaheen  On December 31, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Why not place the picture of the killer…Talpur , or such , on the inter net.AZ will sacrifice all for Polities, also N, but we all must not forget ! Try to to have the picture on , we should send it to his University in Malaysia also.

    We have no zameer, none !

    • baahirezaman  On December 31, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Dear Shaheen, the pictures of the alleged killers are floating all over the social media, facebook as well as twitter. The pcitures can also be seen on the pages for which links are provied in the above article.

  • Carol Grayson  On December 31, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Thanks Yasmeen… absolutely support regarding justice for Shahzeb Khan… and sharing this article… Yet another example showing how some appear to be totally above the law…

  • SHOMU BHATTACHARYA  On December 31, 2012 at 3:57 am

    This undoubtedly proves that the type of self-centred, power hungry, heartless and corrupt politicians that we breed today on both sides of the border and who are only capable of spreading the cancer of divide and rule while destroying our nations–And while true and patriotic Pakistanis are gracefully and peacefully mourning the cruel death of Shahzeb–and we in India are also mourning the death of a another brave heart –our so called Netas and politicians as usual are only playing to the galleries with their stupid politicized statements and that too with total immorality. This is not democracy -it is hypocrisy at its very best.

    Our heartfelt condolences to Mr Aurangzeb and his family who In spite of the tremendous loss has shown what real leadership is all about.

  • Rafia Khan  On December 31, 2012 at 4:57 am

    I have so much love and faith in the future of this country…..however, if justice is not done; my faith will come crumbling down. Let this cause for Justice not die!

  • Gen Satti  On December 31, 2012 at 5:13 am

    ts most unfortunate to lose a human life due to unnatural reasons but the callous and cruel murder of a young man is even worst.We as a society have become so radicalised and intolerant that for most of us death and destruction has become a way of life and an every day affair .Yet once in a while a tragedy does shake us to act and feel as normal human beings touched by the pain and loss of others also.Shahzaib and Malaya Yusuf Zai are two such very recent incidents society can or deserve to exist where there is no justice and tolerance and unless we as a State and Society don’t act fast we are fast becoming a horrible example of such a State and Society’s Allah grant Shah Zain a place in heavens and grant patience and courage to His family to bear this pain and losses.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Sent from my BlackBerry® Smartphone provided by Ufone

  • zubair zubair  On December 31, 2012 at 7:49 am

    This is Zardari’s democratic Pakistan—-remember His majesty’s famous quote,” democracy is best revenge”. Bhainse K aagay been bajnay ka kia faeda. Here even the media is sold; for them this cold blooded murder is not “breaking news”. If you want justice, USE your vote and use it well. Zubair

  • Rizw Saleem  On December 31, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Seeing things like this make me feel ashamed of being a Pakistani.

  • Awab Alvi  On December 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Friends of Shahzeb – Though theoretically I agree that such issues should compel us all to step away from politics and talk about the greater cause, but in Pakistan you need to think beyond and a little into the political realm to achieve your cause – I personally have been a civil Society activist from 2006 and have been practically at the Press Club almost every month for various Human Rights issues -as much as I was averse to the display of political flags – I have realized that the civil society scope is powerful but very limited – passion for the cause runs out quickly – you need to incrementally escalate the issue to such an extent in the media that you simply cant ignore this until you find justice – and In Pakistan you need to let the greed of politics help you achieve that “Critical Tipping Point”

    Political Parties engagement is a mixed plate – in the case of Shahzeb – step by step development has helped 1) Tribune story 2) Express News Ticker 3) Imran Khan tweet 4) MQM Press Release all made sure that the media would cover the protest. Im sure you would have held a brilliant protest alone – what about tomorrow in a talk show WHO would talk about Shahzeb – since its dominated by politicians – or for that matter 2-3 weeks later when only 20 friends of Shahzeb will show up at a candle light vigil [i hope not] but its a reality I have seen more often then not – in the long run you need these political pundits to help attract the media even if they issue a statement on GEO – at least SHAHZEB will get mentioned

    With the acceptance of Political parties today – you have literally captured their interest & fascination – tomorrows talk show – at least someone from PTI and MQM will talk about this case … 2 weeks later Aurangzeb sb can call some leader on the phone and convincingly ask him to help populate a candle light vigil and get some media people to cover the event – or for that matter – I know Salman Ahmed is pushing to have some top TV anchors interview Aurganzeb Sb and others – THIS IS THE political Muscle that will help you create enough of a drum beat that it will help push PPP to cough out Shahrukh Jatoi from their dungeons

    The goal of “friends of shahzeb” should be ONE and only ONE – Justice by a free and fair trial of the murderers of Shahzeb – achieve this goal in anyway whatsoever

    I know this strategy might sound greedily political – but its a harsh reality – keep the family of Shahzeb impartial – let them shake hands with everyone, but dont shun away the flag breaers you need them – you need their support for the long haul – wink them – but let them appease their muscle – that is the gateway to the media buzz that will ultimately help achieve YOUR GOAL and I personally and passionately believe PTI would also like to see this as a success story.

    • baahirezaman  On December 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      So in a nutshell, media won’t pay attention to commoners who happen to be in much larger numbers? Very unfortunate! Somewhere it is still felt that having all parties (if a must) together on a cause, it really would have been a monumental display of protest. Furthermore, it would have given a message to the masses that parties can come together on issues of common man. Alas, that wasn’t the case.

  • Iqbal  On December 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Dear Yasmeen,

    Youremail eas interesting. It would be a welcome ssuggestion to have justice available to a common man, who neither has land, money or resources to fight for his right. Only the
    Feudal Lords and Rich people can buy justice being rich and have derth of wealth.
    Judges are overloaded with cases as old as Pakistan. suppose 170 Million Pakistani migrate to say USA/Australia who have plenty of land, what would happen to the r est of 10 Millions richest people – ? Can they survive a month wiothout those people who are suffering with all kinds of problems, no food, no shelter, no education, no health facilities
    no jobs and and?

    Feudal lords and VIPS VVIPS and ministers ply oresident aial area streets past midnights
    protocoal in front and back using hooters waking residents crossing red lights etc.- FDo they care for the comfort of people who may or may not have voted them. Are they public
    servants ? I think they treat themselves super human being and masters, with party flags or Pakistan flags both side of their Prados/Pajeros/mercedes and and.

    I wonder if any one of the current leaders were born before 1947, when at ;least 2 million people coming from India got slaugjhtered during their journey in train, or in qaflas and
    when landed in Pakistan border t hey were classed as PANAHGUZEEN. I was 9 at the time and t hats what I heard people called us, after travelling from Delhi to Attari the journe which took 72 hours instead of 8 hours, with 250 slaughtered persons in the last two carriages.If we didnt have a british gora major then I am sure all passengers would have been killed. The 18th train ka bacha bacha was killed)from which we got out due to lack of space and boarded 19th special train, so luckily we were safe but those 250 people were unlucky who were in the last two carriages.

    I could write and write, but who cares. I have passed my time by living most of the time abroad, but I am wondering what the pr esent and future govt could give to our nexzt generation should the country survive and remain united.

    What is the urgent need of the day is a Land reform like India did decades ago.The three
    Generals had t he opportunity whiuch they missed in their vested interest. Now we ought to expect a Kanrra Dajjal who migh succeed.

    Lets pray for long live Pakistan and Pakista khappe khappe and better democracy
    is established unilke Badshahat what we have today or had earlier.

    We lost half the country due to stubbornness and mistakes. 90000 pow were teken in by
    our arch rival and lets hope our futur e Govt will do better and hope all provinces will remain in tact. Lets be Pakistani First than Sindhi, Panjabi, Pathans or urdu speaking.Fight for Pakistan together -Love Pakistan, which has lot tooffer if we could
    get rid off corruption on all levels but above all on Street Level. We need honest Polic and Honest Govt. and Honest sincere leaders who dont fill their own pockets but fillthe State Bank.
    Iqbal Mirza

  • CNU  On December 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I fear an end similar to the one we saw in ‘Bakery Beating’ case. May God give courage to deceased’s parents and sister.

  • Javed Ashraf  On December 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    lets all do what we can to fight the cause of shahzeb.

  • Fahim Mirza  On January 1, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Khuda ghaarat karay zaalemon ko

    Sent from my iPad

  • idrees  On January 1, 2013 at 7:47 am

    How can this be…….? Except in this Pakistan, where anything and everything goes.

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