Friday January 21, 2022

Karachi’s lawyers demand justice for slain colleagues

August 09, 2016

City’s legal fraternity boycotts courts and stages protest, will continue to do so today too;
Sindh govt announces day of mourning


Karachi’s legal fraternity boycotted courts and staged a protest on Monday to protest against the murder of Balochistan Bar Association President Bilal Anwar Kasi in Quetta earlier in the day and then a bomb blast at the civil hospital there wherein at least 70 people were killed and several others injured, mostly lawyers.

“We have lost our fellow lawyers, our brothers and innocent people in Quetta. We will continue our boycott of courts tomorrow too,” Karachi Bar Association (KBA) president Mehmoodul Hassan told The News.

He demanded that the government should immediately arrest the people responsible for the attack and take strict action against their patrons.

“We demand that the authorities should eradicate terrorism from the country.”

Condemning the murder of the Balochistan bar association president and the blast, the Pakistan Bar Council appealed to lawyers to observe a countrywide strike on Tuesday and a week of mourning.

Many cases were adjourned by the Sindh High Court and its subordinate courts because of the KBA, the Malir Bar Association, and other lawyer bodies’ boycott.

Wearing black bands, lawyers and office-bearers of the KBA held a meeting and demanded the arrest the attackers as well as security for the legal fraternity.

Pakistan Bar Council member Rasheed A Razvi, Sindh Bar Council vice chairman Salahuddin Ahmed and others lawyers condemned Kasi’s murder and the killing of lawyers, journalists and other people at Quetta’s Civil Hospital in the blast.

In a joint statement, they maintained that the loss of the precious lives was the loss of the entire legal community which could never be fulfilled.

A stampede ensued after the blast occurred, causing anarchy and chaos everywhere. A couple of minutes before the blast had taken place, the body of Kasi, who was been killed in firing, was brought to the hospital by lawyers.

The blast took place at the external gate of the emergency department of the hospital. A heavy contingent of police arrived on the scene and sealed the area. Rescue teams also arrived to assist the injured and shift them to another hospital for medical treatment. An emergency was imposed across all the hospitals in Quetta. 

Former Balochistan Bar president Baz Muhammad Kakar, KBA President Mehmoodul Hassan, advocate Adil Khan Zai, advocate Shakeel Ahmed, advocate SM Altaf and other senior lawyers also condemned the attack.

Sindh govt announces day of mourning

The Sindh government announced on Monday that a day of mourning would be observed throughout the province on Tuesday (today) over the deaths in the Quetta attack.

A notification issued by the chief secretary read,” “In the wake of tragic bomb blast at the Civil Hospital Quetta, the Government of Sindh announces a one day mourning on Tuesday throughout the Province. The Government of Sindh condemns the act of gruesome terrorism and expresses solidarity with the bereaved families. The National Flag will fly at half mast (at official buildings).”

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah condemned the Quetta blast said terrorists could not frighten the people of Pakistan with their attacks.

. "We have fought against you [terrorists] and continue fighting until our beloved country is rid of your network.”

Speaking with Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri on the phone, Shah expressed his solidarity with the people of the former’s province.

“The people of Sindh are in grief over the loss of innocent lives in the blast,” he added. PPP announces mourning

The coordination committee of Pakistan People’s Party Sindh has announced a one-day mourning in the province on Tuesday.

In a press statement issued on Monday, the committee Scheif indh and provincial minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said the party’s activities will remain suspended for a day.

Khuhro condemned the blast and vowed that terrorists would not be allowed to succeed.

Bilawal condemns

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the blast and the murder of the Balochistan Bar Association president.

“Terrorists are targeting hospitals, schools and other public places to shake our will to fight back. But, entire Pakistani nation was united to crush the monster of terrorism with full national might,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto expressed sympathies with those who had lost their loved ones in the attack and assured them that the entire nation stood with them in this time of grief and sorrow.


Rangers’ advice

In the wake of the Quetta attack, the Sindh Rangers have urged citizens of Karachi to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcers to improve security in the city.

In a statement, the paramilitary force requested all citizens to keep an eye out for any suspicious movement in and around their neighbourhoods. 

The Rangers urged every citizen to immediately report any such activity either on the force’s helpline, 1101; WhatsApp number, 0316-2369996; or email address, 

The identity of the informant, it was assured in the statement, would be kept confidential.