Indignant, pained, angry, frustrated… I can go on writing many more words but they would never appropriately convey how I, and many others, feel right now. A nineteen year old man shot in broad daylight and left to bleed to death. This may be something we hear and read about every single day. What makes this story different is the fact that the murderers are the people who are responsible for our safety.

Let’s look at the facts objectively, if such a thing is possible. The young man, allegedly a thief, was caught by Pakistan Rangers in Benazir Park, Karachi. The youth, Sarfaraz Shah, was then dragged towards the Rangers’ vehicle where he begged for mercy. The Ranger then proceeded to throw him towards a group of Rangers, who threw him on the ground. While the youth pleaded for his life, a rifle was aimed at him and he was shot. No one, not a single Rangers’ personnel stepped forward to help him. It is quite evident that they were all still there since their feet are visible in the video that has been aired.

Why they did not arrest the young man and follow due procedure is beyond comprehension. It goes beyond any reason or logic why officials of the law would shoot and kill an unarmed man instead of arresting him. The initial report that the Rangers gave said that the young man was armed and, when he did not surrender, they had to shoot him. They claimed that they had shifted the injured man to Jinnah Hospital where he died. The subsequent video however, has negated all their claims. It is quite obvious that they were lying and the facts are actually quite the opposite.

This incident has revived the Sialkot mob lynching of two young brothers. It has, once again, cast some harsh glares our way. And why not? We have been desensitized to such an extent that we do not even feel anything while watching the video of the youth’s killing. Why have we all been sharing the video so actively? Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and God knows how many other means people have used to share the video with their family and friends. Why? Did you feel the young man’s pain when you clicked share? Did watching the video help you understand why the rangers did such an act? Did you think you would be watching a piece of fiction when you pressed that play button? Or were you testing your own limits of insensitivity?

There will be people who will advocate the death sentence for them; there will be those who will cite his advocacy as another evidence of our brutality. Maybe, there will be many psychological reasons for the Rangers’ actions: Is it power that makes these security officials feel that they can do anything? Were they under pressure due to the conditions prevalent in our country right now? The incident will also raise moral questions. Should they be pardoned because, after all, the victim was a thief? Was it right for them to take law into their own hands because in our country, where the guilty are free and the innocent are behind bars, justice can only be served if we do it ourselves? As someone on Twitter stated, this incident won’t put us into a state of anarchy because we have been victims of anarchy for a long time.

Questions, reasons, blame games, political statements and point scoring. All I know is that once again, we shall be divided over this issue as we are over all other matters. Perhaps, this division is one issue that needs to be handled before all others.

(Note: The Title is from a poem by T.S. Eliot “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”)

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