Justice in an Islamic republic
June 15, 2011 1 Comment
I came across a very shocking news on BBC today, I am embarrassed as a Muslim and as a Pakistani. Pakistan, which is supposedly dubbed as a ‘Fort of Islam’, humans are treated as badly as animals. For example, take the famous case of Mukhtaran Mai, I fail to understand a country with ‘two’ parallel judiciary systems (shariah court and the supreme court), many of the culprits went home unharmed. What good are these systems if they can’t deliver justice? Pakistan is a country where a legal case can (in some cases) go down till generations.
While I mentioned the two ‘major’ judicial systems in Pakistan, there is a commonly known and swifter (than the other two) known as the ‘panchayat’ or ‘jirga’. It is found in a vast area, majorly because majority of Pakistanis reside in rural areas. It is evident with the case of Mukhtaran Mai, these trivial (and feudal) judicial systems are influential in their surroundings. It consists of a certain amount of influential people from that area who decide the fate of individuals and families there. Many people raise the question as to what is wrong with these ‘little courts’. To begin with, they can order someone’s killing, these systems are ‘eligible’ to annul a legal marriage and they can order illegal marriages. There have been many many cases of child marriages, majority of which came from a ‘little court’ decisions.
Many ‘traditional customs’, such as the infamous tradition of burning the widow when the husband is dead (still found in many parts of Sindh) are ordered by these self-proclaimed judges. They can dub a legally married couple as ‘karokari‘ and get them killed in front of an entire village.
What is more shocking is that, those who demand the ‘Shariah law’ fail to condemn these incidents and turn their eyes from it completely. Their argument is that they cannot ‘interfere’ in someone else’s customs. The most glorified shariat institute, the shariah court fail to notice such events, which happen right under their noses. As for the ‘normal’ courts of Pakistan, they are already littered with cases one cannot even imagine. Living in this ‘divided’ judicial system; suffering and humiliation is the fate of majority in Pakistan.