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Thursday Jun 06, 2013

Shahzeb Khan's sister says family living under 'tremendous pressure'

LONDON: The sister of a Karachi teenager assassinated by the son of a powerful feudal and industrial family has said that her family and people closely associated with the case have been put under "tremendous pressure" by the defendants and their powerful supporters.

Shahzeb Khan's sister Parishay Khan, who now lives in London, broke her silence for the first time in an exclusive interview with The News here and said that her brother Shahzeb Khan's case highlights how the justice can be manipulated in Pakistani courts. She revealed that the main accused of the murder case are attempting to manipulate the justice system in their favour - by allegedly using their wealth and political influence.

Various tactics have been used by the accused party to divert people from the main objective of the case, she told The News. Rumours regarding a settlement between both the parties have also been spread to malign us and to distort the facts, a distressed Parishay Khan said. She alleged that the powerful Jatoi family are "misleading people by stating that it is a fight against 'Sindhis' whereas it is simply a murder case".

"It has nothing to do with the caste of the murderer. It's only about the brutal and heartless killing of my loving brother whose life was cut short by arrogant people who have no regard for the rule of law and who believe that the justice can be purchased and denied," she said.

It has been over six months that the case has been running but "we are struggling to get justice for my brother and to get his murderers convicted".

She added: "It is a unique case in the history of Pakistan, where a common man stood for his rights against the powerful and wealthy, supported by thousands of people from around the world, who seek to see a change in the system."

Parishay said that it was important that the justice was done on merit in this case. "If justice is served it will help create an impact that will affect our upcoming generations and it will prove that no power is above the law, hopefully there will not be another 'Shahzeb' in future. My brother's killing was not merely a case of murder but in itself it was a terrorist act," Parishay told The News.

She said that her family in Pakistan feel pressurized. We are worried about the safety of all the individuals who have helped us fight this case, without their support we wouldn't have come this far. Parishay states, "After Shahzeb's murder, I strongly felt unsafe in Karachi, my brother was killed in front of my house in the presence of several witnesses. The murderers must be punished as this will set an example for others that every individual is accountable for their actions regardless of their background."

The accused Shahrukh Jatoi, Nawab Siraj Ali Talpur, his brother Nawab Sajjad Ali Talpur and their servant Ghulam Murtaza Lashari have been charged with killing 20-year-old Shahzeb on December 24 last year. An anti-terrorism court in Karachi has said that the verdict in Shahzeb Khan murder case will be released Friday.