Faisalabad felony

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In yet another shameful act, there are reports of four women being assaulted and stripped. The disgusting, highly immoral and condemnable act in Faisalabad hints at a very disturbing mindset in our midst, and cannot be condoned at any cost. This despicable incident at a public place has come just days after a Sri Lankan national was lynched, and his body was set ablaze by a mob in Sialkot. It is a moment for hanging our heads in shame, and undoubtedly reflects that there is something seriously wrong somewhere in the body-politics of our society, as it is increasingly turning intolerant, radical and law-defying. In fact, such episodes illustrate our moral torpedo, and how corrupt we are assuming to be in ethical domains. It is literally degrading under the agreed norms of civil society.

Now comes the aspect of retribution. This is where we lack, and this is the only reason that crime and defiance thrives. The paralysed and highly compromised system of our police and judiciary makes it almost next to impossible to solicit justice in real time. Moreover, the factors of socio-political pressure on bureaucracy, and the fact that we are a feudal society in essence, makes the process of holding accountable either too impractical or shady. This is where the society as a whole, and the peers and elected representatives, should focus in all humility and seriousness. There is no harm in calling a spade a spade, and until and unless criminals are promptly booked, prosecuted and penalised, such trends of flouting decency to the wind will continue unabated.

Faisalabad’s despicable monsters must be punished — it is mandatory. It was a felony. No long proceedings and no hue and cry. But at the same time, the need of the hour is to categorise and condemn people who act as mere spectators, and do not intervene to save the victims. Malik Adnan has, at least, set a great precedent by coming to the rescue of slain Priyantha Kumara. No such act of bravery was witnessed in Faisalabad. What a shame. Poor women were being dragged and stripped, and people were busy filming clips! They all stand accused as abettors.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2021.

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