The Supreme Court acquitted Shahrukh Jatoi as well as his accomplices in the Shahzeb Khan murder case. Jatoi, a scion of a rich and influential family, has gotten away with murder, which is a prime example of a miscarriage of justice. Ten years ago, Jatoi and his friends killed 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan. Jatoi also flew out of the country to escape the law. He was eventually brought back. Later, Shahzeb’s family pardoned him as they faced threats. Not many can forget how the 20-year-old was shot dead for trying to stop Jatoi and company from harassing his sister, and also the way the system protected them. Although the victim’s father was a senior police officer, the police would not register an FIR against the accused.

In this particular case, we should not forget the role of the Sindh government that consistently facilitated Shahrukh Jatoi because of his influential father. And now our superior judiciary has set him free. Imagine what must be going through the minds of Shahzeb’s family members who not only lost a young loved one but will not have to deal with the trauma of seeing Shahzeb’s murderer being set free. The justice system has indeed failed them the most.

History will remember that a murderer has been acquitted by our courts. He will be walking freely, out in the open. A complete threat to everyone around. They say justice delayed is justice denied. However, in Pakistan, a murderer has been set free because of our laws, especially the Qisas and Diyat laws. A pardon was signed but in such cases, power and intimidation lead to such pardons. Jatoi getting away with murder makes us question our laws and judicial system. It seems that these laws not only favour those who are powerful but are used quite frequently in murder cases.

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Should the powerful and wealthy be allowed to get away with such crimes? It’s the fault in our laws that mercy to men like Jatoi. Who is next on the list to walk freely: Zahir Jaffer or Shah Nawaz Amir?

As a country, we are still dealing with the horrors of the murder of Noor Mukadam. We haven’t healed as a nation and have witnessed the bone-chilling gruesome murder of Sara Shah Nawaz at the hands of a man who too was raised as a result of the patriarchal norms in the country. In Pakistan, powerful men can get away with anything, even murder, without any repercussions. Our society and justice system have failed the men and women of Pakistan.