Tuesday, July 7, 2015


There's an age old dictum that "Justice delayed is justice denied" and "Justice hurried is justice buried" but in this case Justice delayed caused some one buried.

Nearly a year and half after one of the most audacious and brazen terrorist attacks in the capital’s history, investigators are no closer to finding the perpetrators behind the assault on the district courts building.

On March 3, 2014, up to eight men armed with weapons and explosives, entered court premises in Sector F-8. Using hand grenades and automatic weapons, they targeted court staff, lawyers and litigants indiscriminately, killing 12 people and injuring around 30 others. Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Awan was also among those who perished on that fateful day.

One of the lives tragically cut short in that attack was that of Advocate Fizza Malik. It was only the young graduate’s second day on the job when she was murdered by the attackers. But despite a suo motu notice by then-chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and promises by various politicians that they would bring the culprits to justice, there has been no apparent progress on this front.

Tariq Malik, the elderly father of the young woman, recently passed away without getting to see justice done in his daughter’s case.

Asif Noor, one of Mr Malik’s friends, told Dawn that both his sons lived abroad and his daughter Fizza was the only child who lived with him. Mr Malik himself was around 70 at the time of her death and, according to those who knew him, he was completely shattered by the tragedy.

“Fizza’s death changed Tariq’s life. He used to be a very jolly person, but later became very serious and single-minded and only seemed to care about bringing the culprits to justice. When the chief justice took suo motu notice of the case, he hoped that it would ensure that the suspects would be arrested, but that did not happen,” he said.

“Disheartened by the inaction, Tariq later held press conferences and criticised Mr Chaudhry. He was also disappointed in the political leadership, who continuously promised to punish the culprits, but those claims never materialised,” he said.

“He established the Fizza Trust to work for girls’ education and help the poor, while simultaneously making efforts for the arrest of the culprits. But he did not survive to see his dream come to fruit and in March this year, nearly a year after Fizza’s death, he too died of cardiac arrest,” Mr Noor said.

However, investigators admit they haven’t had much luck so far.
A police official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that recently, a number of individuals had been picked up from Peshawar who had revealed some information about the case, so there was still a chance that the case may finally be solved thanks to the new leads. However, the case has changed hands many times.

“Every station house officer (SHO) of the Margalla Police Station becomes the investigation officer in the case by default, because under the FIR, the SHO is the investigation officer,” he said.

The current SHO, Malik Mohammad Bashir, also admitted there had been no progress in the case. “But the Federal Investigation Agency is also following up on the matter and we are hopeful that the culprits will be arrested soon,” he said.

Courtesy: Ikram Junaidi
Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2015

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