LONDON: The murder trial of British-Pakistani barrister Fahad Sohrab Malik has still not started, a year on from his gruesome murder in Islamabad the heart of Pakistan’s federal capital.
The barrister – who studied law at the Lincoln’s Inn here was assassinated on the night of August 14, last year, in Islamabad by gangsters Nauman Khokhar (alias Nomi), Hashim Khan, and Raja Arshad. Malik was leaving Shalimar police station after duty, acting for a client, when his car was stopped and he was showered with bullets.
It has been a year now and the trial has not started. All kinds tactics have been used to delay the proceedings by the accused, who remain in Adiala jail.
Jawad Sohrab Malik – the barrister’s younger brother – told media that the killers and their legal team have been postponing the court proceedings on many counts.
He explained that the accused continue to seek adjournments in the case he filed at the Islamabad High Court, where the matter related to sending it to the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) is pending. The honourable judges have even observed it in their written order, yet the case remains undecided for now.
Honourable judges Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi wrote in March, this year, in a court order that they tried their best to conclude the arguments and the respondents were given chances.
The judges wrote that they have observed that “they have no intention to proceed with the matter before this bench. We have already heard the arguments in detail but for the remaining arguments, they have shown their reluctance”.
“Keeping in view the sensitivities involved in this case, it is required to be heard by a learned bench of this court,” they wrote further.
Malik’s brother shared how his family has been unable to move on and their lives have come to a halt. “We just cannot forget what happened. The most beloved person to us all in our lives has been taken away from us,” he stated.
Life, he said, “will go ahead [for us] only when there is justice and when we know the killers have been given the right punishment. For us, happiness is gone”.
Jawad explained that this “most barbaric” act has been a “tragedy for us all, knowing every day that Fahad is not with us”.
It has become even more painful knowing that the night when the whole nation celebrates the Independence Day (August 14) is the one where they are reminded of the loss of a loved one, who was killed in a “terror attack by the outlaws who have no respect for the rule of law and who consider themselves a law unto themselves”.
Earlier, The News revealed how Malik’s killers are enjoying a luxurious lifestyle in Adiala, with help from the jail’s administration. They have access to numerous facilities, such as mobile phones, laptops, and WiFi.
Jawad noted that the killers belong to a rich, influential background and that they continue to enjoy a VIP lifestyle behind the bars. In a year, he stressed, there has been little progress in a simple murder case just because the accused have used their money and influence to tamper with the system.
“This is the prevention of justice. Everything has been done by the accused to [halt progress] so that they could buy more time,” he commented.
Jawad – who is running a campaign to get justice for his brother – said Fahad’s killers had used illegal automatic Kalashnikovs in a public place. He appealed to the superior judiciary to expedite the case and help him get justice for his brother.