I was terrified when I saw disturbing pictures of an unruly mob beating two boys with sticks, killing them, hanging their bodies with poles and then parading their bodies in the back of a tractor trolley around the industrialized, progressive and apparently well managed city of Sialkot. The city which is known as Shehr-e-Iqbal and a place renowned world over for its quality sports goods, the heinous act negated one most repeated mantra: tolerance is bred by economic troubles. What has happened is a blot on Sialkot, Punjab and Pakistan. The PML-N needs to pull its act together as this has happened in a city which is majority controlled by the party. The party’s senior leadership like Khwaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal belong to this city. Being educated, urbane and suave, and demanding change in the way Pakistan is operating, I am sure they must be feeling terrible to see what transpired in their city.
Coming to what happened, let’s look at some points:
- The incident happened on 15th August, which was the 4th day of the fasting and holy month of Ramadan.
- The teenagers, Mughees (19 years old) and Muneeb (17 years old) were both Hafiz-e-Quran and students of colleges in Sialkot
- Both brothers had a fight with their killers on a cricket match few days earlier. The killers accused them of being robbers and then incited vigilante justice on them
- The police has been accused as aiders and abettors in the killing because of their inaction.
- The footage of the gruesome incident has been aired first on 19th August, four days after the killing
- The media started relaying the incident which has caused all of us shame and then given twists by taking interviews of the deceased family.
- All the blame has been shifted to policemen for their inaction.
Why is only the police being blamed for their inaction? What about all the people who just looked on at the scenes and preferred to record the incident with naked eyes or their phone cameras? Was there not one or two sane people who could knock sense into the crowd? Could no one dare stop the attackers? Nations are built by the people and not police officers and judges. We as people have failed our country and the basis on which it was established.
The family had to approach the Supreme Court for their support. The Supreme Court has ordered Anti-Corruption Director General Justice (retd) Kazim Malik to investigate the matter with 1st September as the date for next hearing. I hope that the killers are all arrested and sentenced in the speediest of manner.
We must all condemn this gruesome incident and hope that this increasing level of intolerance in our society subsides. No way on earth can one kill another soul. Doing this in the month of Ramadan, what sort of people are we? Are we Muslims? For sure not.