The victim Shahzeb Khan
The victim Shahzeb Khan

Shahzeb Khan, the only son of Deputy Superintendent of Police Aurangzeb Khan was murdered in cold blood by Shahrukh Jatoi, Siraj Talpur and two other convicts on 25th December 2012, near Mubarak Masjid in DHA, Karachi.

On 7th June 2013, the four accused were found guilty by an Anti Terrorism Court in Karachi for premeditated murder of Shahzeb Khan, the two prime convicts, Jatoi and Talpur were awarded death penalty, and the other two convicts were given life imprisonment.

Shahzeb Khan was murdered because one of the servants of Talpur abused and harassed the sister of the victim Shahzeb Khan, and the Shahzeb spoke out against it.

Justice for Shahzeb Khan was not easy to come by: the two convicts belong to very influential feudal families in Sindh; even though the victim’s father was a Police officer himself, the Police was unable to register a case against the convicts due to the pressure exerted by their families.

Protest for Justice for Shahzeb Khan
Hunger for Justice: The Supreme Court took a suo motto notice for legal action after large scale peaceful protests all over Karachi.

Even the Pakistani media was slow in reporting the story; it wasn’t until a social media campaign launched by the friends and family of the victim Shahzeb Khan on Facebook and Twitter named Justice for Shahzeb Khan, which gathered momentum and sympathies of Karachiites, and evolved into a series of medium and large sized peaceful protests all over Karachi, that the Supreme Court of Pakistan took a suo motto notice of the matter and ordered the police to register a case against the accused in addition to seizing their property and freezing their bank accounts.

The Supreme Court action came a bit late: Shahrukh Jatoi had escaped out of Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates. The arrest of his father for the crime of helping a fugitive of law to escape made him finally surrender to the Pakistani authorities at the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai. He was arrested and flown back to Pakistan and faced trial for premeditated murder.

Even during the trial, Jatoi’s influential family tried to save him by falsely claiming in court that he was a minor, under 18 years of age, at the time of murder. This was later proven otherwise by medical reports.

Shahrukh Jatoi flashes victory sign outside the court room after conviction
Shahrukh Jatoi, the convicted killer flashes victory sign after being awarded death penalty by an Anti Terrorism Court

After the court found them guilty and the verdict was announced, Shahrukh Jatoi was seen smiling and flashing a victory sign while being taken away.

The counsel for the convicts announced that they would be challenging the verdict before the High Court of Sindh. The case still has a long way to go: an appeal to the High Court, if that is rejected, an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and if that appeal too is rejected, the convict would have an opportunity to appeal for mercy to the President of Pakistan. If the President finally rejects their appeal would the sentence be carried out.

Still, this is a major victory for the people of Karachi and the family of the victim. Justice is hard to come by in Pakistan, and justice for Shahzeb Khan is a display of the collective strength of the people of Pakistan, especially the young generation, their desire for a fair and equal society; Justice for Shahzeb Khan also demonstrates the power of social media in getting the people to rise up and raise their voice and be heard and in bringing killers to the book and the dispensation of justice.

Justice being done in this case would not bring the victim back to life, but it might prevent more precious lives being lost in the future to suck arrogant and egoistic attitude of the elite of this nation, who believe themselves to be above the law.

The people welcomed the decision wholeheartedly and expressed pleasure and satisfaction; the following is a glimpse of the reaction of the people after the verdict was announced by the court.


Below: A grab from a local TV channel after the convicts were awarded death penalty.

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16 Comments

  1. Excellent post!!! Its very sad to see absolute power for corrupts. Even after judgement he was happy, he was not afraid…

    At times, I think where are we living? Is it not an Animal planet?

    Very hard to find happiness from any of the top level organization of this country, may it be

    1- Government
    2- Judiciary
    3- Army
    4- Media etc

    So, we are happy that he will be hanged, and Jatois have ample of time to appeal here and there… At the end he might escape…

    Well lets pray for true justice delivered…

    1. Yes its sad to see this sorry state of our country. But if we don’t stand up against injustice and corruption, then who will?
      Jatoi has no remorse or guilt, he believes he would run free; I hope he is proven wrong soon and justice is dispensed soon.

      As the two sayings go:

      Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

      and

      Justice delayed is justice denied

      I remember the Jessica Lal case in India when that innocent girl was shot dead by the son of the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Haryana in front of 300 witnesses in Delhi. The killer was set free by the trial court because the killer’s father bought or influenced the witnesses. A public outcry all over India resulted in a retrial by the High Court and the killer brought to book.
      Similarly, Indians rose up against the brutal rape and murder of the unknown medical graduate last year, which ensured speedy justice in the case.

      Its high time we rise up and say NO to any and all forms of injustice, corruption and discrimination and ensure that there is no place in Pakistan for these menaces.

      1. Correct…

        My thoughts “What we are missing here is a true leader on behind of which we all can stand”

        Anxiously waiting for someone who can fill that position, so far none is here…

          1. Well, I remember Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his inauguration speech as the President of the United States

            The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

            I strongly believe in being the change rather than waiting for the change. 🙂

      2. You are quoting a PRESIDENT here, I am not Ahmer…. May Allah give us the strength to stand against the evil…

        If we are true Muslims, we should only be afraid of Allah and nothing else, but mind dont works this way….

        Again, may Allah give us the strength to stand against the evil…

        1. That President was a normal human being, just like you and me 🙂 If he could stand up for his nation, why can’t we do the same for our nation.
          I know standing up isn’t easy, but that’s what we all need to do: for ourselves and for our nation.
          Death has to come to everyone, it will come when it has to, no one has ever escaped it, and no one might ever do that. We have a short life here on Earth, why not make the most of it, and do what we believe is right and work for the betterment of the people around us.
          People like Jinnah, Ghandhi, Edhi, Mandela, Mother Teresa live on in the hearts and minds of the people many many years after their time on Earth ends, just because they did something for the people. 🙂

      3. Hmmm… all of them were in their mid ages, have some sort of back at that time. We either need a platform or we need to plan, things are not that easy here… if you try to raise your voice you might not be visible tomorrow. Instead of getting emotional, we need to use our brains, great leader like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto were killed in our country, so we need to do a lot in order to come up with something that really helps, instead of just standing now…

        Always Begin with the End in Mind….

        So if you have a plan then its okay, if not then….

        1. Begin with the end in mind

          I believe this means start the journey with the aims you have in mind, what you wish to achieve, not with the fear of the consequences or fear of failure 🙂

          A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step

          The first step is the hardest step to take. 🙂
          I may be wrong with my interpretation of the quotes. 🙂

          1. In my opinion Edhi is not a right example, he has a very limited boundary, he is in to curing things rather in to solving …

            Rest of them were in their middle ages, situations were not as tough as they are now, but situations always were tough and will keep on getting tougher…

            yes we can bring a change… this talk is an example… your blog is an example, I feel one common thing.. we just dont talk…

            May Allah give us the courage and guidance required to bring justice here in our country and may Allah choose us to help others in understanding and obeying his commands.

  2. Very informative as you have summarised the whole case. I pray that justice prevails in the end and the culprits family lose all their appeals… The Supreme Power who watches us without a blink of the eye is always with the MAZLOOM!

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