Guest Post by Naeem Sadiq
“It only pertained to five women. The media gave the matter such a colour as if heavens have fallen.” ~ Jan Mohammad Jamali, Acting Chairman of the Senate of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
How does Jan Mohammad Jamali know if the heavens chose to fall or not. Surely the heavens did not fall on the killers of the Umrani tribe. Surely it did not fall on their patrons in the senate of the Islamic Republic. It also did not fall on the political party who is banking on the votes of the killers to make it to the President House. They must all therefore defend their ‘honourable tradition’, give the usual insipid statements or simply look the other way. The more intellectually inclined like the Aitezaz Ahsans, Raza Rubbanis, Sherry Rehmans, Nafisa Shahs and the Kaiser Bengalis may even address a press conference, but will not resign in protest. After all the heavens did not fall upon them.
But the heavens did fall. It fell on the five women who were buried alive at Baba Kot. For them that is the end of it all. The heavens have been endlessly falling on the ordinary people of Pakistan for the past sixty years. They have no place to go to seek justice. The courts are laden with PCO judges, who are willing to take any number of any kind of oaths – as long as they get their monthly salaries. The 350 million dollar ‘Access to justice” was a dream that has long been encashed by the lending agencies and their local partners in crime. Thus for an ordinary citizen, the queue on the road to justice is a life long delusion.
What must the ordinary citizens do to avoid heavens falling upon them again and again. It is not that the heavens feel good about falling upon the poor and the helpless. It is the acquired helplessness that invites falling of heavens. Thus the only hope lies in the citizens organising themselves – at every level and every platform. It is the privileged who must stand up and fight for the under-privileged. They could form groups who would fight for a case like the ‘Baba Kot live burials’, and keep it alive till the justice is done.
One hopes that the lawyer community and the civil society, which has been fighting for the cause of the judiciary, will also pursue justice for the five helpless buried alive women of Baba Kot.