Most professionals in the media and many users of social media have already seen this gruesome video or its shorter version – almost Maria Sadaqat’s dying declaration. We had received this video, early last week. Maria Sadaqat was burnt on Sunday 29th, and this video statement was available the same day or next day with most media outlets, we only showed briefly the blurred glimpses in our programs because its gruesome and would have violated PEMRA’s code, since TV is an open mass media without any barriers to entry/viewerships for any age. Internet is a different medium, restricted by the possession of computer, or handheld device, broadband access and then barriers of knowledge and languages in many cases. Its a medium of choice.
But that is not the only reason, we are making this available here. It is now important to view this gruesome video for all aware citizens. Because the man, ‘Master Shaukat’ who was accused by Maria in her statement in the police station on 29th May, of beating and burning her, has also issued his own video. That video is also available on Facebook and other social media outlets. We will also make that available on this website. This video which you are watching here is a longer video, recorded on a handheld device by someone, at the Police Station. We have also uploaded the shorter video; so a total of three video: Two of Maria and one of Master Shaukat. All three are must to be watched by all aware responsible and God fearing citizens of Pakistan and the whole world. Ultimately citizen’s consciousness and moral judgement will determine the fate of any system.
It is important to mention and to note, as you watch these videos that Maria – who died on Wed 1st June 2016, at Pakistani Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad, out of her 85% burns – is laboring to speak under great pain, words are difficult to utter, her skin, her arms, face, all muscles are burnt and even a millimeter of movement is a herculean act. Master Shaukat’s video starts with him, doing an ablution (wuzu) in his rather posh bathroom; he then holds on a Quran in his hands and testifies that he has been wrongly accused; he has nothing to do with the case, and Maria’s father had some financial problems with him so Maria was instructed to name him before dying. How credible is that? Let educated people of Pakistan be a jury on this question.
But Jury of Pakistani people must keep in mind few facts: Maria’s statement captured on video is a running happening event, happening in what you call in media language ‘real time’; Master Shaukat’s video is a planned act; has many retakes, has been made professionally and it appears that it has been made under legal advice to create excuses and evidences and an appeal to the Chief Minister of Punjab. Police help cannot be ruled out as well. You will find more analysis in my blog.