‘Government to pursue Jokhio’s murder case’

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ISLAMABAD: Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari said on Monday if the family of Nazim Jokhio — who was tortured to death while allegedly in detention at PPP MPA Jam Awais’ farmhouse on the outskirts of Karachi’s Malir — agreed to a “compromise” with the suspects, the state would pursue the case in court.

Mazari said this while addressing a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, where she gave the example of Qandeel Baloch murder case in which the state had become a complainant to bar the victim’s family from pardoning her killers.

The minister further stated that the federal government had directed police to provide protection to Nazim’s family.

Nazim was found dead at Awais’ farmhouse on November 3 last year.

His relatives have accused the PPP MPA, the lawmaker’s brother, PPP MNA Jam Abdul Karim, and his henchmen of torturing Nazim to death for resisting houbara bustard hunting by the lawmakers’ Arab guests and filming them while hunting in the victim’s village, the Achar Salaar village in Thatta.

The standing committee had summoned the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) to brief lawmakers on the case on Monday, but he did not attend the session.

Other police officials attending the session told the committee that MPA Awais had been arrested in the case and Nazim’s brother had named three officials whom he wanted to carry out the investigation.

They confirmed that Nazim was tortured and beaten, adding that six suspects had been arrested till now and the “real murderers” would be arrested soon.

The police officials, too, said if the victim’s relative agreed to a compromise, “we will be in the court”.

Following their briefing, the standing committee again summoned the Sindh IGP at its next session.

Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Senator Saifullah Abro said during the session that MPA Awais’ henchmen had taken Nazim to the farmhouse. And his brother, Afzal, who had accompanied Nazim to the farmhouse, ” heard his younger brother’s cries there”, he added.

“An FIR (first information report) was registered only after Nazim’s relatives staged a demonstration with his body on the National Highway.” the senator said.

Abro said thousands of similar killings had been happening in Sindh.

“It is not just birds that are hunted in Sindh,” he remarked. “There should be a briefing on what princes arriving from Arab [countries] do. [I] feel ashamed talking about the deeds of Arab princes who come to Sindh for hunting. Places where they are invited as guests, I don’t know what shameful activities take place there.”