While every single vote is precious for both the treasury and the opposition for success or failure the ongoing no-confidence motion against the prime minister, the likely arrival of absconding PPP Member of National Assembly (MNA) Jam Abdul Karim from Dubai in Pakistan has exposed the selectivity of our justice system. The lawmaker in question has been at large for months in the murder case of the member of the public, Nazim Jokhio, who was opposed to the poaching of the Houbara Bustard by the foreign guests of the MNA’s family in November last. His body was found at the farmhouse of the MNA, and the ensuing investigation established that Jokhio was killed in cold blood. The police arrested the brother of the lawmaker, MPA Jam Awais, whereas MNA Abdul Karim fled to Dubai under the watch of the Sindh police. Since the day, the MNA disappeared, the Sindh police has made no effort to extradite him, and present him to the court of law. Also, the justice system did not move against the MNA. Now, when the no-trust motion has taken momentum, and every single member matters, we hear that the MNA has secured a protective bail from the Sindh High Court for 10 days so that he can cast his vote. There are, however, conflicting reports about the protective bail, as a section of the media claims that no such facility has been acquired by the MNA.
Only to prevent the opposition from taking benefit of Abdul Karim’s vote, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail took up the issue of the murder suspect, saying that the Federal Investigation Agency put his name on the Provincial National Identification List. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has also vowed to put his name on the exit control list and arrest him on arrival in the capital from the UAE on March 29. The presence of the MNA in the National Assembly is likely to enrage the treasury benches, while the opposition benches may come up with a weak defence for their colleague. The sage puts our judicial system in the spotlight as well, which often takes a lenient view for the powerful suspects and strong action against the feeble lot before and during the trial. The PPP leadership, which has always distanced from the MNA’s act, should clear its position on the issue. The family of the late Jokhio deserves justice, and justice without any delay. The issue merits a suo motu by the Supreme Court at the earlies, so that the law takes it logical course. But what we see is that the lawmaker has armed himself with legal protection to frustrate the governor’s and the interior minister’s wishes as no law-enforcement agency can arrest him till April 3. This is an unfortunate fact.