Rare help: Social media brings justice for Charsadda family

Published: September 7, 2019
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PHOTO: FILE

PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The wheels of justice roll slowly against the influential but they grind exceedingly well when they do. As frustrating this may be, one Charsadda family found some solace in the fact that justice always wins. And to get the justice their slain loved ones deserved, they had to take their case to social media.

Kashif, Sajjad, and Shabbir received a volley of bullets, only because they asked an influential landlord in Charsadda to transfer the ownership of the land they had purchased from him.

After months of wrangling over the transaction, the men were invited to negotiate a settlement with the owner. The argument turned ugly shortly after arrived. And the brothers were gunned down.

Witnesses said the landlord, refused to transfer the ownership of the property despite receiving a significant portion of the payment and at some point, during the meeting, he went berserk and killed the brothers.

Like most true crime stories with Hollywood-esque details that leave you shaken, the villain escaped justice and somehow fled to Malaysia.

In their quest for justice, the family of the victims decided to share the entire incident on social media, which made the wheels of justice turn. Their post triggered demonstrations in the area and eventually, law enforcement agencies were forced to bring the accused back to Pakistan.

“Our post compelled authorities to take action against the landlord, who left the country after the incident in May,” said Ilham, a grieving relative.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where weapons welded from scrap metal are cheaper than smartphones, disputes over the ownership of land and other domestic issues, frequently end in bloodshed.

For every person killed by a gun, many more are injured, maimed, and forced to flee their homes. Still, many more live under constant threats of gun violence.

While life would never be the same for members of Kashif, Sajjad, and Shabbir’s family, they anxiously hope that justice would be delivered. But it wouldn’t have been possible without that one post on social media.

Supported by a distant relative, the grieving widows will have to come to terms with the realities of surviving in K-P’s male-dominated society.

With additional input from in Raza Muhammad Charsadda 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2019.

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