Motorway tragedy

Aijaz Ali Saghar

The writer is a freelance journalist.

Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once said, ‘India will be free when the women of my country feel safe to walk in the streets of India at the midnight’. These words of Mahatma Gandhi were for India. Let’s talk about our country Pakistan.

Two robbers had gang-raped a woman in front of her children when her car broke down on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway. Such increasing incidents in Pakistan causes outrage among the people of Pakistan. The woman, who lived in France, came to Pakistan with her children so that her children could grow up in Islamic culture and live according to Islam. But in front of these children, their mother’s honor was tarnished.

Some friends who reached the spot informed that the woman’s condition was critical. She kept telling the officers to shoot her. She also asked everyone present to swear that they would not inform anyone about the incident. The woman’s condition was so bad that it was not possible to take pictures of her.

When the car ran out of petrol, the woman called the police for some help. Shortly after the call, the incident took place. The news spread like wildfire across the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar took notice of the incident and handed over the task to the new IG Punjab, Inam Ghani.

Meanwhile, Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh said that the woman should have used the GT Road instead of the motorway and the woman alone should not have traveled, which stir up a controversy. PML-N and PPP call for immediate suspension of CCPO Umar Sheikh.  

There were some motives behind the removal of the CCPO. CCPO Lahore had started crackdown against mafia for a few days, indiscriminate roundup was going on. Many PML-N workers were caught, so the PML-N wanted to remove the CCPO at all costs.

After the Lahore Motorway incident, Punjab Police formed 28 teams while geo-fencing the area and started investigating the incident from every angle. Eventually, the Punjab police succeeded and matched the DNA of the main accused in the incident.

The main accused Abid Ali turned out to be a habitual criminal. From 2013 to 2017, 8 cases of robbery and rape were registered against Abid Ali. The Punjab Chief Minister, Provincial Law Minister, and IG Punjab briefed the nation about the two accused in a joint press conference. Police are using modern search methods so far and the main culprit has not been arrested yet.

Severe punishment must be ensured throughout the country, and such incidents will not decrease unless such elements are publicly punished. Second, the police department should be abolished or it should be made completely apolitical and it needs to be restructured as an institution.

At the moment, there is chaos all over the country. The government says something while the opposition says something. The politics into this matter has to be abandoned and decisions have to be made for Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in his manifesto that we will put the institutions on their feet and eliminate political interference from all institutions. Khan Sahib has so far failed to do so. Institutions are heading for further destruction.

I appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to make this country a real state of Madinah so that whenever there is talk of the development of Pakistan and the prosperity of this nation, your name must appear in bold letters. The government should bring institutional reforms to build a strong Pakistan.

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