April 21st, 2022
By Shaukat Korai
On Tuesday, activists and civil society gathered outside the Karachi Press Club to protest the killing of citizen journalist Nazim Jokhio. The demonstration followed after the removal of the names of 13 people who were accused in the case, along with the declaration that Jokhio’s death was “accidental”.According to the initial report submitted in court, the authorities could not find any evidence against the main accused, a member of the National Assembly (MNA) of PPP, Jam Abdul Kareem, and his brother Jam Owais who is also a member of the Sindh assembly (PPP). There were 11 others who were accused in the case. Members of Nazim Jokhio’s family including his wife and his mother have also given statements in court pardoning the accused, but members of the civil society and activists have rejected the reconciliation arguing that such ‘pardons’ promote an environment of impunity in the country whereby the rich and powerful can pressure families of victims to reconcile with murderers. The protest procession was attended by prominent civil society figures like Sheema Kirmani, Karamat Ali, Jibran Nasir, and Mehnaz Rehman. Several protestors held banners demanding intervention from the Supreme Court.
Prominent civil society activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir said that those who attended the protest were not there only for Nazim Jokhio anymore, but for themselves – as there was a feeling that the government and the State refuse to side with people who are vulnerable and against vested powers.
Both Karamat Ali and Mehnaz Rehman asserted that it was the responsibility of the State and PPP’s provincial government to bring Nazim’s killers to justice.
A Malir Judicial Magistrate had ordered that Nazim’s case be tried by an anti-terrorism court. However, the Karachi ATC has yet to decide if the case comes under the ambit of ‘terrorism’. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for April 21.