Kidnapping of Awais Ali Shah

It has been almost three weeks since the kidnapping/abduction of Awais Ali Shah, the son of the Chief Justice of Sindh, Sajjad Ali Shah, but the law enforcement agencies are clueless about the identity of the abductors and the motive behind it.

Awais Ali ShahThis has created a sense of insecurity amongst the judges in this country, and raises serious questions of the achievements claimed by the law enforcement agencies in restoring law and order in Karachi, Pakistan’s economic hub.

It is a very difficult time for the judiciary and also a big challenge to the legal professionals of this country. In campaigning for the safe recovery of Awais Ali Shah, a complete strike which the bar has resorted to is not the right way forward: a complete strike just serves the interests of those who perpetuated this kidnapping to paralyze and render our justice system ineffective.

The civil society and the bar must raise their voices in a coordinated and concentrated effort for the recovery of Awais Ali Shah. The silence of the conscious and educated people is what allowed the Nazis to seize power in Germany and lead it along the path of destruction.

To put it in the words of Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

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