Cheap Justice

April 12, 2017 Asia , HUMAN RIGHTS , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , Pakistan

Reuters photo



Muhammad Shoaib Khan

Once upon a time, a parrot and sparrow went to a forest. The forest had no sign of existing life. The parrot commented that only an imprudent will agree to live here because it is such a deserted place…

He kept on talking while passing a tree. They saw an old owl sitting on the branch. The owl welcomed them both and requested them to be his guest for one day. During that one day, the owl showed great hospitality and took care of them both. When it was time for them to leave, the owl started forcing the parrot to go alone as he wanted the sparrow to stay with him. Because of this, the parrot and owl had an argument but they could not reach any conclusion. So they decided to go the court in the jungle for justice. After listening to their statement, the court gave the decision in the favour of owl. What happened next? That I will discuss in a while.

Let’s relate this story to our daily lives. Universally justice is meant to provide equality and equal basic rights to every individual. These rights are the foundation of living a standard life. When it comes to justice, nothing can be compared to the justice of the Supreme Power, The Almighty. This Supreme Power has always been righteous with everyone, be it mankind, animals or any other living species. The same duties have been entrusted in the messengers of the Almighty, as they were assigned to do justice among people of their prescribed communities. Prophet Muhammad PBUH has set an exemplary model for justice. He once gave a decision of cutting the hands of a thief, which led the people to question him for being unjust. But he clarified that even if his daughter Fatima would commit such an act, he would give the same verdict as well. This is considered real justice, when it is provided regardless of age, culture, status and the decision should always be unbiased. This helps in maintaining a peaceful and stable society.

The irony of this situation is that it is not only in society but is impregnated in the mind of the people. This undue attitude starts at the family level when the parents start discriminating between their children. Preferring one child over another will create a sense of unfair attitude. This unfair attitude imprints in their mind, leading to higher level setbacks. This not only exists in families, but also in educational institutes. Some incapable students gain favour on the basis of their background. This incapability consequently is a major cause of corruption. Almost every other institute encounters some form of injustice. It is not specific only to authorities, since every individual is entrusted for their duties. If every person stays loyal to their duties and is accountable, why would we be facing such issues and encounter these situations?

A common misconception about justice is that it should only be practiced by State authority or government. Talking about the State, Pakistan is an Islamic Republic based on the teachings of Islam. Islam teaches us equality and justice among Muslims and non-Muslims. But this is not being practiced in this country. In South Asian and other Muslim countries, human rights are being violated on a daily basis. First the people are reluctant to demand justice, because even if they do their cases get stuck in court for years or even decades. The reasons behind these pending cases are so many that if I try to list them down, it will take ages. One of the common issues is corruption. People are willing to let go of their morals because of money. They do not care for their values because in the end all they want is the monetary benefit. Sometimes justice is being sold at a cheap price, or right decisions are not taken at the right time. For this reason, justice of the modern era could be referred to as “Cheap Justice”.

The responsibility lies with the State to provide citizens with basic rights. Education, security, food and shelter should be accessible to the common man. This could be done by proper administration and well managed systems. Once the basic necessities are provided then everyone is accountable for their own actions. In reality, every individual is accountable because it is the inborn trait in individuals. This must be inculcated in children since childhood which results in a long lasting impression in their minds.

If the authorities start practicing justice, it will create a huge impact on the State. It should be practiced by a leader to a common man, from the parliament to the clerical level, irrespective of the designation. The lawyer of Quaid-e-Azam presented a false picture of his case in court so that the decision could be given in favour of Quaid. Without any hesitation, Quaid told the judge about his false statements, this done purely for the sake of the provision of justice to every individual. This is an example of being justified in your values and teachings. However the scenario is way too different now. Nowadays the authorities consider themselves superior to everyone. They consider themselves unaccountable to anything. This could be seen in the recent Shahzaib murder case. The innocent young boy was murdered by the son of a senior politician over a minor argument. The court didn’t provide justice to the victim’s family because the murderer belonged to a resourceful family.

If we start mentioning the examples of injustice done to a common man, we could write hundreds of books on this issue. But it is high time to realize that this not only affects the people but also the economy of the country. If justice is not provided to the people, they will start moving to other secure countries. People moving to other places will take the human resources and their expertise along with them. That is one of the major reasons for the youth moving abroad these days.

Do you remember the story at the start of my article, about the parrot, sparrow and owl? When the court gave the decision in favour of the owl, the parrot unwillingly agreed to leave his beloved sparrow behind. Then the owl told the parrot about the reason for the jungle being so empty and lifeless because of the same kind of injustice being done to other animals. So the owl asked the parrot to take his sparrow along so they could visit him more often.

All I can say is for making Pakistan a better place to live, it would be appreciable if every individual gets his basic rights and performs his duties. In this way this country and this nation would progress like it never did.










Muhammad Shoaib Khan

Muhammad Shoaib Khan

Muhammad Shoaib Khan is a journalist from Pakistan and has worked with NEO TV, Independent News, PBCand The Nation.


  1. Adeel Atif April 14, at 02:22

    Superb Shoaib you have really shown the true example of our institutions keep up the good work brother ..

  2. Kataria April 13, at 23:12

    Excellent shoaib. The matter of fact is that the injustice, lawlessness, nepotism, despotism, maladministration, mismanagement, inequitable distribution of resources and wealth and evil of corruption in every filthy form lead the society at the brink of moral, social, economic, civic and political deprivity. This is why Martin Luther King once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.