I am the son of a murdered judge

Published: July 1, 2013
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The writer is a freelance contributor

The writer is a freelance contributor

My father, Muhammad Jamshed Jadoon, was posted as a judge of the newly-established Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) in Gilgit, in 2005, by the orders of the prime minister secretariat. In fact, based on national interest, he had volunteered for the position when nobody was willing to do the same due to insecurity and the uphill task of establishing an ATC in Gilgit, which would have been the first of its kind. Sadly, after serving for more than 11 months in June 2006, he was murdered in a public park in broad daylight.

The accused was convicted by my father for the burning of a police station, following which he was jailed. However, he was facilitated from the jail by the police, which is when he committed the crime of murdering Jamshed Jadoon and was subsequently handed down a death sentence by the ATC. In the meanwhile, many high-profile politicians and religo-sectarian parties approached our family with their various offers of pardon on behalf of the convict, but we refused to accept all the offers and stood firm on our stance for due process of law and justice to be served.

Now, we have come to know that the accused has, once again, been let out of prison and this time, to find his way out of the country and out of the reach of the law. We can’t help but feel stupid for relying and trusting the judicial system for justice.

The question that arises is, if a judge of the ATC cannot receive justice in this country, how can ordinary citizens? If the state cannot protect its own custodians, how will it protect its citizens? People from Gilgit state that when we refused the offer of religo-sectarian parties, a deal was struck with the help of our own “security agencies”.

The family was kept in the dark for six months about this whole event until news reached us through intermediate channels. Now, we are told that it is an open and shut case since the accomplices — who could have assisted and usually belong to the police department — who help such criminals escape have been handed down sentences of 12 years to life imprisonment. Besides, who can guarantee that they will not be freed or their sentences commuted at a later stage.

Finally, I have come to the conclusion that there is, in fact, no system of justice in Pakistan. If there is, it is for the facilitation of the ruling class or the US. It reminds me of how a mockery was made of the whole judicial system when Raymond Davis was escorted free from the courts within hours and through legal process. While the same process, for an ordinary citizen, requires a long span of time stretching to months and years. This is the reality of our judicial system.

My family and I have few options. We can either get into negotiations to no avail, accept blood money and forget the whole fiasco ever happened or we can simply pick up a gun and get justice for ourselves — the latter we won’t do. In the absence of the state, there are very few legal options for a family seeking justice in this land. It makes one wonder why the criminal is so strong in this country and the toiling, honest ordinary man so weak?

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd,  2013.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Parvez
    Jul 1, 2013 - 10:36PM

    Your anguish and disgust at the system comes through loud and clear. What you have said about the total collapse of the judicial system and your hope of receiving justice, is true.
    It seems quite evident that our biggest enemy is ourselves.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 1, 2013 - 10:50PM

    Chilling account and first hand testimony of total perdition and perfidy of the Pakistan state

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  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Jul 1, 2013 - 11:34PM

    Very shocking indeed and utterly disgusting. They say the system can work with infidelity but not with injustice and here we are, crossing all limits.

    No wonder we are in such a mess.

    Karachi

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  • ModiFied
    Jul 1, 2013 - 11:41PM

    @ Author: I really feel sorry for the loss of your father. Situation was no different even in India till about 10 years back. Sons of powerful ministers and government officials used to shoot people in broad day light and get away. Public could not tae that any more. Civil society and media joined hands. Results were quick. Quite a few murderer sons of powerful politicians were convicted and jailed for life. Ministers tried all tricks to get their sons released, but nothing work in the face of vigilant public. In most cases the lead role was played by the mother, father or sisters of the victim. May be you as a son take the task in your hands and see if something can be done in Pakistan too along the similar lines. If you want the details, I will be more than happy to give you the details of the cases and how the campaigns were run.

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  • A J Khan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:06AM

    A very revealing and heart breaking story. The case must be taken up with Supreme Court of PakistanRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:17AM

    Its true and sad story of one person who happened to be part of that system and one can think about ordinary peoples of this land ???? a country with out vision and system from creating to becoming nuclear.

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  • gp65
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:31AM

    I am sorry for your loss. Not just the loss of a loving father but the lss of hope that you could get justice.
    Salute your father.Recommend

  • leela
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:46AM

    A direct consequence of a nation exhorted by its leaders for ‘Direct Action’ mayhem. Now everyone is taking direct action on their own, like the Qadri’s of Pakistan or the murderers of Jamshed Jadoon. When the establishment creates and perpetrates jihadi non-state actor ‘freedom’ fighters, it is bound to have a blow back.

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  • Dancing troy
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:58AM

    It was painful to read. May Allah give you justice.

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  • Ricky
    Jul 2, 2013 - 1:01AM

    “a mockery was made of the whole judicial system when Raymond Davis was escorted free from the courts within hours and through legal process. While the same process, for an ordinary citizen, requires a long span of time stretching to months and years.”
    This is a sad truth and heart breaking to say the least. There is swift justice and of the choice of accused if they are rich and powerful. Take the blood money and move away to safety. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:06AM

    My heart aches for your loss and yet no hope for justice. Sad to say but this is nothing new or surprising as Qadri is showered with roses while judges are murdered. That is the reason no terrorist is ever punished.

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  • Water Bottle
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:37AM

    @ModiFied

    ” I really feel sorry for the loss of your father. Situation was no different even in India till about 10 years back. Sons of powerful ministers and government officials used to shoot people in broad day light and get away. Public could not tae that any more.”

    I don’t see what you write. If you are talking about some off examples, then they happen today also.

    Take the case of Salman Khan. How many times has he been alleged to have committed crime and look where he is. Powerful people who have money even today get away with murders in India. They may not arm-twist the law, But they know how to buy the ticket into the loopholes.

    And murder itself is not the worst of crimes. Kanimozhi who was accused of massive corruption in the 2G scan is punished with a seat in RS by the congress. Kalmadi, who is again accused of massive corruption brazenly ran for the AAA elections.

    There are so many dirty/corrupt players in the playing 11 of Indian cricket, who are well protected by BCCI.

    If anything, things have gotten worse in India.Recommend

  • NickBoy
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:03AM

    The judge was killed cold blooded and the killer was escaped to Iran with the active support of police and PIA officials. Weldone secteriansim, live long

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  • Manju
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:29AM

    The question that arises is, if a judge of the ATC cannot receive justice in this country, how can ordinary citizens?
    ow, we are told that it is an open and shut case since the accomplices — who could have assisted and usually belong to the police department — who help such criminals escape have been handed down sentences of 12 years to life imprisonment.

    I can only sympathize with the author’s pain… But, does this Twenty-Twenty shortcut generation of Pakistan understand the deep social underpinnings of the situation and 3 decades of state authorized discrimination?? I would only suggest the author to leave for a better and safer country… Perhaps India also (ironical as it might seem – Even to person from a country which defined its existence as a safe haven for a minority ending up as a biggest threat of what Sufism actually preaches – ‘Peace and Tranquility’…)

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  • mustaqeem
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:29AM

    MY CONDOLENSES AND PRAYERS ARE FOR YOU

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:33AM

    Sincere condolences on the murder of your father and the murder of justice in this country !

    If I was you, I would explore all possible options to flee the country together with my family and into a civilised world. This sounds hopelessly depressing and a decision out of cowardice but looking at the prevailing situation in the country, there is no hope and there is definitely nothing to suggest that things would get better.

    Nonetheless, I hope you and your family find peace !

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  • Gp65
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:02AM

    @Water Bottle:
    Salman’s case is in the court. He has not been acquitted. In India the courts are back logged and the wheels of justice turn slowly (which arguably itself maybe co snide red distortion of justice but that is a sep aerate discussion) but increasingly they do turn surely.

    Just as Sanjay Dutt is behind bars, Salman will be made accountable for the deaths caused by his drunken driving. Imagine Shah Rukh cannot enter BCA grounds even if his team is paying because he threatened to bury a humble groundsman. In an older I ndia without the benefit of social media where the issue got recorded and played over on TV, he wold have simply pulled strings and got away but no more. The ministers associated with 3G scam are in jail.

    It is not the case that elite in India do not have a sense of entitlement or suffer from hubris. The difference is that increasingly such hubris is not tolerated once it is brought I not focus.Recommend

  • AliKuliKhan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:33AM

    Our justice system requires a complete revamp. The process of selection of judges should be reviewed. Laws should be made to hold the judges accountable. More judges need to be hired and infrastructure improved. The Chief Justice should be held accountable for poor performance of the judiciary. The judiciary should be made into a professional outfit so that their judgement are not flouted with impunity. This case went unnoticed because the apex court is busy doing politics.

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  • Shahid Khan Jadoon
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:34AM

    Justice should be made in this case and Justice should be equal grounds no one is above the law. Cheif Justice should take notice in this case why accused has let out of prison. Is our country law only for the ordinary people

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  • Manju
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:46AM

    @Gp65:
    Just as Sanjay Dutt is behind bars, Salman will be made accountable for the deaths caused by his drunken driving.
    Dude before the Pakistanis here start commenting that “Salman Khan is a Muslim and that is why he is being persecuted”, you should have also informed them that those poor people who got run over by his vehicle were all Muslims…... Well how will they understand that those muslims families are struggling!? After all Pakistan was made for, by and from the rich Muslims…

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  • Arun
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:49AM

    @Water Bottle: Agree to most of your observations, except the climaxes once its out in the pan-Indian public domain (as rightly mentioned by gp65
    )
    India and its western neighbor do have many problems similar to each other in nature, but the fact remains that majority Indians employ healthy foresight, have set themselves a COMMON non-complex singular productive goal & we do not cling on to the past.

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  • Polpot
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:34PM

    Brother, your artcile did move me.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    And I am from across the border.

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  • Water Bottle
    Jul 2, 2013 - 12:59PM

    @Gp65

    “Imagine Shah Rukh cannot enter BCA grounds even if his team is paying because he threatened to bury a humble groundsman. ”

    You think this actor was barred from entering BCA because he threatened a humble groundsman?

    Trust me, there is a great deal of politics behind it.

    Social media is not a part of justice system. In fact Social media putting pressure on the justice system is a very wrong thing to happen. Because the truth or rather the facts are not known to the public. And justice should be blind.

    Indian justice system has remained the same since decades. If anything it has gotten worse. How many glaring cases of corruption are slipping through the gaps?Recommend

  • Jul 2, 2013 - 1:23PM

    Salute to your father for taking up such dangerous job by choice. It was heartrending what you and your family had to go through, though.But the fact that you are writing about it, and are brave enough to address the culprits through this piece and trying to get justice show your and your family’s courage and strenght. You haven’t given up, and you should not give up.

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  • Khan
    Jul 2, 2013 - 2:11PM

    The case was not so simple. I still remember the turmoil which the family had to suffer. Here our chief minister in the so called democratic system can use heli to attend marriages and valimas but alas there was no vehicle for shifting the dead body of the martyred judge to his home. I still remember the depressed call requesting for help in making of the subject arrangements. That day i felt how insecure and handcuffed i was. Alas i could do nothing.
    I salute ur father my friend. I salute ur family.

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  • Milind
    Jul 2, 2013 - 2:12PM

    Condolences from across the border!!! May you father R.I.P. and justice served.

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  • ishrat salim
    Jul 2, 2013 - 2:17PM

    Our country need implosion within…to clear all & anew….or another Khomeini to clean the system like he did in Iran….we have no sincere leaders to clean the wretched entrenched dirt…no one to be blamed but ourselves only.

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  • Murthy
    Jul 2, 2013 - 3:41PM

    Shocking to hear that even a judge, of a terrorist court at that, could be killed and his family left high and dry! I sincerely hope that the writer and his family come to no harm.Recommend

  • gp65
    Jul 2, 2013 - 3:54PM

    @Water Bottle: Things are not perfect by any means in India but they are moving in the right direction. Fewer communal riots, less tolerance for evils like rape and corruption, less tolerance for VIP bullying.

    I agree with you that trial by media is undesirable. But media following a story to ensure that a case actually reaches the courts is a good thing. Recommend

  • Mukk mukaa
    Jul 2, 2013 - 4:07PM

    Brave of you to go through this unbearable pain we the silent majority are with you.
    I cannot understand why anyone would support a murderer & not a judge
    This kind of insecurity makes me live abroad
    May we all pray for you & your family
    Sacrifice your father gave will bear fruit

    Recommend

  • ahmed41
    Jul 2, 2013 - 5:40PM

    @Manju:
    Thank you Manju. Is not this Salman Khan the same person who was/is involved in illegal sport-shooting of dumb animals ( Deer ?)

    Do innocent animals not deserve justice ?????

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  • Imran
    Jul 2, 2013 - 6:27PM

    We are in Civil War, but that said, your Father was a brave Patriot, and your loss is loss of Pakistan, Do not Give up on Pakistan, We will win this war one day, God Willing.

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  • Naveen
    Jul 2, 2013 - 7:38PM

    @ahmed41:
    Well, My community’s (Bishnois) members have led the movement for arrest of Salman Khan since those poor creatures were killed in our villages where people don’t even kill normal animals (let alone endangered species). If I am correct, Nobody has retracked on their statement in lure of money or other enticement. He has already been convicted by lower courts but he applied for an appeal in higher court, Trial is still on and I am hoping that justice will be done.

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  • Manju
    Jul 2, 2013 - 8:41PM

    @ahmed41:
    Do innocent animals not deserve justice ?????
    Agreed……

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  • haroon
    Jul 2, 2013 - 9:01PM

    @saad khan: It is due to the people like your father that today Pakistan still exists. Don’t lose hope. We are with you. We want justice for your father to set an example. We are proud of your father.

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  • ABDULLAH KHAN
    Jul 2, 2013 - 11:03PM

    The event which took place on 24 June 2006 , and the thousands of such painful events which have taken place and are happening on the daily social setup around our beloved country, Pakistan urges the government to please please bring all victims under shadow of justice and set up such judicial system in Pakistan which should assure that every single individual of Pakistan is immune from any type danger . All those who commit such activities should get justice.HOPE THAT WE WILL SEE SUCH ATMOSPHERE SOON.

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  • Marium
    Jul 3, 2013 - 12:58PM

    I can’t imagine how agonizing this must be for your family. So sorry for your loss, Your father was a hero. May his soul rest in peace.

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  • ahmed41
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:02PM

    @Naveen:
    Naveen ji >>>>> justice? What justice ? The poor helpless animals are DEAD.

    Will Salman Khan get LIFE imprisonment for this ?

    Just for this merciless act , i sincerely hope that the court of the ALMIGHTY punishes him, when he departs from this earthly ” life “.

    PS >>>>> otherwise i am an atheist !!!

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  • Ali
    Jul 3, 2013 - 5:51PM

    If this is of any consolation – I am with you.

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  • Mystic
    Jul 3, 2013 - 6:03PM

    ::(((((((((((((((((

    Salute to your father and family. Your father is our hero!

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  • uzair
    Jul 3, 2013 - 7:31PM

    bro very sorry for all that fiasco..but we have to accept the reality..that there is no justice and security for ordinary..but there is one thing for ordinary..that they have to follow law…and the upper class can do..whatever tey want..they are above the law

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  • Irshad Khan
    Jul 3, 2013 - 8:25PM

    Shocked to read. You are right, criminals are very strong in this country and some of them sitting on high chairs. The other day did you not see some influential criminals showing sign of victory when punished with death penality by an ATC?

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  • Waqar
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:39PM

    Your dad was deprived of justice the day when the title “shaheed” was not used with his name. I am a coward. I am not going to tell you to keep raising your voice. However, if you will, it would be exactly the bravery that your father had.

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  • Gp65
    Jul 4, 2013 - 8:06AM

    @Naveen:
    Thanks for sharing. Good to know that people are standing their ground and not being bribed to change their testimony.Recommend

  • Danish Khan Swati
    Jul 4, 2013 - 11:43AM

    @Saad Jadoon
    Brother I dont have words for your loss but one thing that i must say is that stop expecting justice from this system,democracy and all that which is forced upon us.

    You are not the son of murdered judge but you are the son of SHAHEED judge.We are proud of your father and you,the courage both of you got.
    You got the courage what i wish to have
    Takecare of yourself and your family

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  • akhter husain
    Jul 7, 2013 - 12:14PM

    Coward and greedy state can not deliver justice.In this case state was the heir .The judiciary should not have delayed the execution by speedily processing the case.

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  • Talha Ahmed Khan
    Jul 17, 2013 - 6:58PM

    i can’t forget my uncle he is really a big loss for me and whole family if they can’t provide justice then they can’t even say sorry we can’t provide you the justice …..

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  • Abid Iqbal
    Jul 26, 2013 - 12:51AM

    It will be the limits of stupidity expecting justice in such like country. Your father was a real hero. He paid his life for the sake of his country. Hats off. God bless him.

    Recommend

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