“He hasn’t been killed by unidentified people. Everybody knows who the murderers are. They are influential people. In this country, people fear nobody and nothing,” said Hassan Tariq, a friend of the 20-year-old Shahzeb Khan, who led the demonstration against the killing on Sunday.
About 70 people had gathered at Liberty Chowk to protest the killing of Khan in Karachi last week. Shahrukh Jatoi and Nawab Siraj Talpur have been named as suspects.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Tariq said: I was a little scared. He was a DSP’s son and even then justice was not done,” he said.
Tariq said: “Today we aren’t just raising our voice for Khan but also for others who are being targeted every day.”
The protest organised using the social media was scheduled to start at 3pm when a similar demonstration was scheduled to be held in Karachi as well. The protesters, who were mostly young men particularly students, demonstrated for over an hour. The turnout was highest around 4pm when the protesters atood around the Liberty roundabout, forcing the traffic to slow down. They carried placards reading “Justice for Shahzeb Khan”, “Time to end this culture of brutality” and “No one should be above the law”.
Murtaza Asif, a student, said he was appalled by how the “so-called influentials” had managed to cover up murder. “He was killed in cold blood,” he said.
Another student from the Beaconhouse National University, Saman Tariq, said the number of such cases was growing. People should speak up.
“No one is or should be above the law,” she said. “The idea that anyone can be killed any time for absolutely no reason is not acceptable,” said Saira Yaseen, a mother of two who participated in the protest along with her family.
“This can turn into what happened in Egypt where the voice of the people was not heeded,” said Fawad Khalid, a member of the PML-N social media team. Khalid, an engineer by profession, said everyone should support the cause irrespective of political association. “I am not representing any party here; I am here in my personal capacity to raise a voice for something I believe in,” he said. Recalling the case of chief minister’s son-in-law who allegedly abused and beat a bakery boy, Khalid said: “He did not escape the law. That is the way it should be”
An argument went on for a while among the protesters over a protester’s carrying a placard reading “Muneeb, Mughees, bakery boy, Shahzeb Khan … we (can be) next” was confronted by some PML-N supporters who said it was unfair to compare the case with that of the bakery boy..
“We demand that the chief justice take a suo motu notice of Khan’s murder and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Hassan Tariq. He said if the murderers were not arrested, they would stage protests in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2012.
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