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article imageOp-Ed: Mock justice — Lahore police and court turn against victim

By Ernest Dempsey     Oct 19, 2012 in World
Lahore - One thing a Pakistani court is good at is serving justice to those who have been wronged. The beating of a bakery worker in Lahore is the latest story making news, especially now when a court has gone back on its order issued just 24 hours ago.
If you are a relative of those in power in Pakistan, you don’t need to worry about justice since justice is always your servant, bowing before you with both hands tied on its back. But if you are a victim of injustice, the judiciary will make sure you don’t get near justice.
This has been the case with so many people in Pakistan, particularly in the Punjab province where police take active roles in victimizing the helpless civilians. The case of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s son-in-law accused of having a bakery worker beaten by his guard and members of elite force illustrates that courts in Lahore are only serving the influential and the rulers.
The incident involved a woman, now reportedly shown in video to be the daughter of Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who came to the bakery shop along with guards on October 7 and asked for a cake. When told the shop was closed for cleaning, she apparently threatened the bakery worker, the CCTV footage reportedly shows her raising a finger at the worker named Irfan. A few hours later, Irfan was beaten by a mob of security personnel including a few of the guards who had accompanied the chief minister’s daughter to bakery.
It was clever of the chief minister to order an inquiry and let his son-in-law be arrested for sending guards – police supposed to be saving the helpless from the criminals – to beat up the poor worker. After all, the general elections are just months away and the campaigns have already started to win voters. But today the son-in-law has been granted bail by a judicial magistrate even though the same judge ordered him to be sent on judicial remand hardly 24 hours ago.
So this is the story of justice and reality of courts in Pakistan: a victim of police torture at the behest of a woman dying to eat a cake and her husband enjoying the blanket of immunity from legal action due to his family status with the Chief Minister, now denied justice by the court. What’s next is not hard to foresee. The bakery worker will be pressured or even further tortured and threatened so he withdraws his case against the Chief Minister’s son-in-law. And the show will continue. Hail Justice!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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