KASUR – Family of Mazhar Farooq who recently walked free of murder after spending 24 years behind bars felt ecstatic as the news of Mazhar’s release made waves across the country.
Mazhar’s family that is gearing up for celebrations had to wait for a period of 24 long years to see Mazhar back in home and especially Mazhar’s mother is recalling what happiness actually means to someone.
“I had forgotten what happiness was. But now I have finally found happiness again,” she said speaking to Geo News at her residence in Kasur.
“He was only 25 when he was put in prison. Every time he met me he would say, “Do something, get me out of here”,” his mother said.
In 1992, a trial court had sentenced a suspect to death for his alleged involvement in a murder that took place in Kasur. The Lahore High Court (LHC) had also upheld the death sentence.
A three-member bench presided by Supreme Court Justice Asif Saeed Khosa conducted the proceedings of the case and found the suspect innocent of the crime.
The judge stated that the evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused was not sufficient since the pistol presented at the trial did not belong to him.
When the case began, Mazhar owned 200 acres of land. His land was sold as the family followed the case in different courts over the past 24 years.
A much older Mazhar now suffers from respiratory and chest infections which he contracted during his time in jail. He is expected to be released in the next two days from the Kot Lakhpat Jail.
This is not the first time justice delayed has apparently resulted into denial of justice. In a similar case, the Supreme Court in October, acquitted Mazhar Hussain after 19 years in jail for lack of evidence. Unfortunately, Mazhar died in 2014, two years before the SC verdict announced him innocent.
Pakistani prisons are home to prisoners vegetating and rotting in death cells awaiting their execution for so long that they now appear to look akin to victims themselves.