Pakistan’s Poor and Vulnerable Remain Poor and Vulnerable

Pakistan is no country for the poor or vulnerable as is witnessed by the events surrounding the Nazim Jokhio case. In November 2021, the body of Jokhio, was found at a farmhouse in Karachi’s Malir neighborhood. The police informed the court that young Nazim Jokhio was tortured to death during illegal detention at the farmhouse of Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Jam Awais.

Initially, the family accused MPA Awais and MNA Jam Abdul Karim for being involved in the murder of the 27-year-old victim, who had earned the ire of the influential when tried to prevent their guests from hunting houbara bustard in Thatta district.

However, the case took a twist when the widow of Nazim Jokhio gave in to the pressure of the powerful feudal family, saying that she was pardoning all suspects accused of her husband’s murder. “In a video message, Shireen Jokhio said she wanted to fight but had been left “all alone by her own people” adding that she had taken the decision to pardon out of compulsion and for the safety of her children.”

On April 13, the Sindh police “excluded the names of 13 accused, including Pakistan Peoples Party MNA Jam Abdul Karim and his brother MPA Jam Owais, from the charge sheet submitted before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the Nazim Jokhio murder case.”

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) issued a statement expressing “grave concern over the decision to exclude two sitting PPP lawmakers from the list of accused in the murder of Nazim Jokhio on grounds of lack of evidence.”

HRCP also observed “that this development follows closely on the heels of the pressure and isolation that Shireen Jokhio has cited as her reasons for ‘forgiving’ those accused of brutally torturing and murdering her husband last November. This seems an unlikely coincidence.”

Finally, HRCP noted that “Ms Jokhio’s decision was certainly not voluntary and should not be considered legally acceptable. In the present political situation, this should be a test case for the Sindh government to show that it will put human rights and justice before short-term political interests. HRCP, which has been monitoring the Jokhio case closely, considers Nazim Jokhio a human rights defender (HRD) and insists that there should be no impunity for harm to any HRD in any circumstances.”

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