Islamabad: It is unfortunate that the rule of law has collapsed in Pakistan and that justice is a distant dream, a Pakistani daily said Saturday after all the six witnesses to a journalist`s murder were killed.
Nearly two years ago, Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar was shot dead in Karachi.
Now it "seems that Babar, a dedicated and respected young professional, is to be denied the justice that he deserves even after death", the News International daily said in an editorial titled "Death of justice".
While 23 witnesses were listed in the murder case, only six had agreed to testify.
"There is no doubt that fear of being killed was a key factor in this," the daily said.
Since January 2011, all six witnesses have been killed. They were two policemen, a police officer`s brother, an informer linked to the investigation, and two civilians.
The last surviving witness, Haider alias Saleem, was killed Nov 11. Assassins barged into his house and pumped two bullets into his head.
The Sindh High Court had earlier given instructions to the provincial government to provide security to Haider. "This obviously did not happen," the daily said.
Haider had identified five suspects in a police line-up, and was due to appear in court Nov 13, two days after he was murdered.
"The killers are obviously ruthless men but as we have seen in other cases before this, their actions, backed by the larger gang they belong to, mean they have almost certainly been able to evade justice again," the editorial said.
"It is an unfortunate reality that the rule of law has collapsed and justice is now but a distant dream," it lamented.
The journalist`s killers may now escape scot-free, "illustrating the plight of a country where order has completely broken down, with cities run by gangs".