Jointly with international pressure we have to know the full truth about Mushtaq’s death01 March 2021 Editorial Desk
The death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed exposes how lawlessness has made life valueless and unsafe. Even in that situation of unsafe life it has not been a secret affair that killing is politics. The police and government’s private forces have impunity to kill people under the guise fighting terrorism. But the protests we made were too feeble and so indirect that the government had no reason to worry. We have no vote and no voice. Then we have forces bought through corruption to fear.
Yet over Mushtaq’s death in jail hundreds of people of all walks of life have demonstrated in the city streets as well as district towns in anger demanding investigation and punishment of those found responsible for his death. But our anger or protest does not count.
Mushtaq, 53, had been in pre-trial detention since May 6 last year under the Digital Security Act, 2018 and denied bail under pressure from the government. Our prosecution is not independent. The lower judiciary under the influence of the law ministry has to behave at times like an extension of the government if police demands remand the courts easily oblige knowing torture may be freely used. Mushtaq died inside but he must receive medical treatment when in custody on remand. We do not have journalism, independent and free to know how he died. Most offence are non bailable but that does not mean that an accused will be denied bail at pleasure. The wish of the government means a lot whether one will get bail.
Apart from that the press generally and many others in particular have prejudice against granting bail. No respect for his freedom before he is found guilty after trial. But Mushtaq was not seen as a dangerous person for social safety. We don’t yet know under what circumstances he died. We look more for international cooperation for protection for extra-judicial killings and disappearances. Death for refusal of bail unfortunately had to be seen as judicial killing
To know the whole truth we welcome that ambassadors and high commissioners of 13 countries -- USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, the EU, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden – have expressed their grave concern over the death of writer Mushtaq in government custody and urged the government to carry out a quick, transparent and independent probe into the incident. They also voiced the concern of their respective governments on the controversial Digital Security Act though for killing no law was necessary.
Life has become too cheap in the country. Apart from law enfacing force the government has other government patronised dangerous forces that exist for committing political crimes. This idea is obviously bureaucratic thinking. The people may die but the government survives for them.
We hope jointly with international pressure, the truth about writer Mushtaq’s killing will be exposed.