Islamabad: The parents of Shahzeb Khan, a 20-year-old shot dead last year by the sons of an influential businessmen, on Monday said they had pardoned the murderers, a development that triggered sharp reactions on social media in Pakistan.
On December 25 last year, Khan was gunned down in Karachi by Shahrukh Jatoi, who was accompanied by his friends Siraj and Sajjad Talpur.
The young men had a fight after Talpur’s servant, Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, teased Khan’s sister.
The victim’s father, DSP Aurangzeb Khan, and his mother Ambreen Aurangzeb, requested the release of the four perpetrators in an application filed in Sindh High Court.
They said in the petition that they had decided to pardon the culprits "in the name of Allah". Therefore, the court is obligated to do likewise, they said.
The petition further said the parents of both parties had reached an understanding outside court.
Khan`s parents said they were under no pressure to file the request. They said they had decided not to accept any blood money from the families of the accused, which is allowed under the Islamic provisions of `diyat` and `qisas`.
A final decision regarding the request will be made by the court.
After Khan`s killing, youths and civil society groups had taken to the streets in Karachi and other cities to highlight the murder, prompting the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice 10 days after the murder.
After prolonged hearings of the case in the Supreme Court and an anti-terrorism court in Karachi, the ATC finally delivered its verdict in June.
It awarded the death penalty to Jatoi and Siraj Talpur, another prime accused in the case, and life imprisonment to Sajjad Talpur and Murtaza Lashari.
Today’s development provoked a sharp reaction from Twitter users, who likened it to the infamous case of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was freed by authorities after he paid blood money to the families of two Pakistani men he had killed.
"Jatoi was charged for Shahzeb`s murder. He ran away to Dubai (and) was brought to court of law for trial. All efforts gone in vain! #Karachi," tweeted Syed Athar.
"Future trivia questions: What do Raymond Davis and Shahrukh Jatoi have in common?" tweeted another user.