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IF I DON’T KNOW IT, IT DOESN’T EXIST! MAY IT BE SCHIZOPHRENIA THEN.

IF I DON’T KNOW IT, IT DOESNT EXIST! MAY IT BE SCHIZOPHRENIA THEN.

“It is outrageous for Pakistan’s Supreme Court to claim that schizophrenia is not a mental illness, and flies in the face of accepted medical knowledge, including Pakistan’s own mental health laws,” said Maya Foa, Reprieve’s director.

This is just one example of the dozens and dozens of even more humiliatingly criticizing comments that Pakistan is facing from all over the world, over an ignorant judicial verdict that was issued to a certified, 50 years old schizophrenic patient, Imdad Ali, accused of allegedly murdering a cleric in 2001. Since according to our respectable jury no such medical conditionexists or to be more precise, no such psychological disease fits “our law defined criteria” for mental illnesses, hence we clear the way for Imdad Ali’s execution.

This verdict was issued by a judicial bench comprising of three “learned and literate” judges of the supreme court, even the Chief justice himself. Well, it shouldn’t be astonishing for a nation, should it be? Where Amir bhai is a “religious scholar and an “MBBS doctor”! So isn’t ot fair enough for the law makers and executive personnels of such a country to be atleast this ignorant that they deny a certified medical condition and a mentally I’ll patient, the very benefits and exemption from execution that he deserves. I mean come on, we are those who love putting labels on the basis of our very own “free” will, over people who differ from us in views, so how can we not ignore the opportunity to remain silent and not talk about something which has already been labelled a “taboo” in our society.

The verdict relied on two dictionary definitions of the term ‘schizophrenia’, as well as a 1988 judgment by the Supreme Court in neighbouring India. I mean for once please decide, are we boycotting India or not?? Taking examples from their supreme court verdict is just as sane as turning the IPC( Indian Penal Court) into PPC( Pakistan Penal Court) with only amendments being the translation of terminologies and giving it a taste of distorted shariat laws wherever you wanted a flavour of an Islamic Republic.

We have already faced a lot of losses and such a blow to out common sense and literacy standards was not at all needed! I presume the human right activists and doctors (specifically psychiatrists and psychologists) will not be the only ones raising voice against this and the rest of our population esp the youth claiming to be very decsive, oriented and thought voicing will also raise a question to this verdict, with all due respect to the undoubtedly respectable Supreme Court! But plz let’s do it before another Imdad Ali is denied justice by the very jury assigned to make justice prevail.

Also, it’s the need of the hour ironically for past many many years that we start breaking the ice and talk about mental health and stop stigmatising psychiatry and psychiatric illnesses!

Written by:

Faiza Rehman.

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