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Justice for Mashal?

49 7 155

AND so 10 months after the horrific lynching of a young man whose only crime was his commitment to speaking the truth about this society and its injustices, another young man has been sentenced to death for the crime. And we are supposed to feel gratified.

Of the 57 that were charged with Mashal’s murder, 26 were acquitted for lack of evidence, most of whom were given a welcome reception by the JUI-F and Jamaat-i-Islami in Mardan upon their release from custody!

Presumably these 26 will be emboldened to further the ideology of their parent parties. I am not suggesting that these 26 — or for that matter all 57 of the accused — should have been sentenced to hang. In fact, I suspect that Mashal himself would have opposed the death penalty on principle. What he would have wanted — what all forward-thinking people in this country want — are concrete steps to undo the (institutionalised) bigotry and hatred inculcated in the minds of tens of millions of Pakistanis.

One can only feel hollowness at the verdict.

In short, anyone who felt grief and anger at Mashal’s gruesome death is likely to feel only hollowness at the ‘justice’ that has been delivered by the courts. Tellingly, the Mashal verdict has been issued at a time when a popular........

© Dawn