Where criminals are secure, and innocents die
Who is responsible for the death of two women who died while a convicted kidnapper Rana Sarwat lives?
Once lucky, twice confident, thrice dead, goes the saying, and more often than not, it does play out that way. Unfortunately, as far as Rana Sarwat is concerned, somebody else did the dying.
The convicted kidnapper and under-trial murder accused managed to evade death for the third time in the face of James Bond/Ethan Hunt-inspired assassins, only for two innocent women, the mother and sister of the cabinet secretary, to lose their lives in a hail of gunfire as a pair of gunmen entered the supposedly secure VIP ward of Pims and managed to leave after the incident without any hindrance.
The findings of the inquiry report in to the incident were about as surprising as the news that text-messaging with one hand and smoking a cigarette with the other while watching a movie during the drive home from work is a bad idea. The unarmed hospital guards are blameless, while the gun-toting policemen, no doubt fear-stricken by the previous Hollywood-reject attempts on Sarwat’s life (and the fact that they had proof that the murderers’ weapons worked), should have taken down the gunmen instead of letting them pull a Houdini for the third time.
Of course, I may be wrong, and the police guards might have all had to rush to the loo together. Or maybe they didn’t want their tea to get cold. The number of more important tasks than securing the suspect and taking down the gunmen is endless.
A Pims official put it quite clearly when he said,
“We do not want to mix regular patients with high profile police cases, which put lives at risk.”
Unfortunately, his very valid argument will be put to bed soon enough, because another high-profile criminal accused will need to be treated for something or the other, and will have to be carted to Pims because it’s the best-equipped government hospital in the twin cities.
All that happened at Pims could easily have been avoided. After the first attempt on Sarwat’s life, he could have been given a jail trial, eliminating the need to bring him to court. But more significantly, security at the district courts could have been a lot sharper. After claims of improving the set up at the courts, one would assume the same guy wouldn’t take another bullet at the same venue, but that’s exactly what happened.
Now where does the investigation stand?
Who is responsible for the deaths of two women and injuries to at least two other people? How did Mumtaz Qadri, another high-risk murder accused, manage to get the kind of security he got? Just because he killed a governor and Sarwat is accused of killing a kidnapping victim?
Have the police investigated the people with the strongest motive to see Sarwat dead? Is the rumour that the kidnapping-murder victim’s family had a role in the shooting true? If yes, why aren’t they being given a closer look at?
Revenge is a bitter pill, and the use of vigilante justice can never be taken lightly. The gunman from the second shooting claimed to have been avenging the murder of a relative (not the kidnapping victim) by Sarwat’s hand. Instead he shot a cop and hurt Sarwat, leading to the most recent, and the only deadly, incident. Is he culpable for the deaths of the two women?
With police claiming to be ‘close’ to unravelling the case, one hopes that justice will be served. The subpar performance of the security men leaves the police needing redemption.
They can start by making sure (or at least trying to) that suspects and innocent bystanders don’t risk their lives by showing up at court. They can make sure that people who go to hospital don’t get shot at.
Most importantly though, they can get justice for Saleh Bibi, Bilquis Bibi and Qamarunisa Bibi (who was injured in the attack), and the murdered businessman, Khawaja Zahid, hopefully, before another incompetent assassin tries to kill Sarwat.
Update: Mujahid alias Seth Mansoor, a relative of the murdered boy, was arrested on Wednesday for his role in the murder attempts on Sarwat.