You may have heard of a disturbing story developing during the last few days regarding the death of a 2-month old baby and Faisal Farooq, the son of the owner of Nirala Sweets which is a popular confectionary chain in Pakistan. A Mr.Waseem, travelling with his 2-month old son and other family members, crashed his car as a result of a race between two other cars, around Lahore’s Defence area. The baby died shortly after reaching the hospital while the other passengers also suffered serious injuries.
While Faisal fled the scene of the accident, a case was registered against him, but instead of justice being swiftly served, Faisal and a group of armed men arrived to threaten the victim’s family to withdraw the case. It seems that they were initially successful at making this happen (or at least preventing a final case being registered), with the help of some senior policemen off course, but the issue has now garnered enough attention to get the Inspector General to intervene.
This case could be a testbed for where this country currently stands when it comes to basic human rights, justice and equality. Will the rich and powerful manage to get off the hook yet again or will justice prevail this time? Is the life of a child, belonging to a family that doesn’t fall into the elite category, still worth less than the freedom of the privileged? The good thing is, this time we can play a part in getting the right thing done.
However, what is the right thing to do? There is some material to suggest that the facts are less sensational than what the media, both blogs and news services, are making them out to be. According to Adnan’s post, Nirala Sweets Controversy-Media Politics?, someone had the following to say:
The events have been grossly misreported & exagerated. The way it really happened was that the driver of the Honda City took blind u-turn in the middle of the road, into the path of the oncoming Boxter driven by Faisal Farooq. There was no race. I know Faisal to be a particularly cautious driver & he rarely exceeds the 100 km/h while driving. If there was an accident, something must’ve popped up real fast in his way for him to react; i.e. the blind u-turn taken by the driver of the Honda City.
But this is just the account of one person. I have trouble believing that a Boxter, driven by the son of a rich businessman, was moving at an acceptable speed (100 km/h is in itself above the speed limit for pretty much any city in Pakistan), while a Honda City, with a child and family on-board, was at fault.
A number of blogs have posted about this and have called for a boycott of Nirala Sweets, something that I’m also going to endorse based on the facts available and until some solid evidence can be found to refute the original account of events.