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August 23, 2016

Lawyers stage protests across country

Top Story

August 23, 2016

Quetta attack

ISLAMABAD: Protesting against the Quetta bloodshed, lawyers on Monday staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament House and carried out protests across the country. Their protest will continue today (Tuesday), says a press release.

The sit-in in Islamabad witnessed total disharmony as black coats lacked a unified strategy to force the federal and provincial governments toto unmask the attackers. 

The grouping among the black coats led to an apparent failed protest in the federal capital as no proper arrangements of sound system were made for the speeches of the speakers to address some 400 lawyers who were called upon by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

The speakers had to make speeches on mega phones and there was no arrangement of water. Barrister Ali Zafar, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and Asma Jehangir took different lines, though they are from the same group. 

Ali Zafar was critical of the government and did not try to blame the security agencies, while Asma Jehangir termed the Quetta blast as the failure of the agencies. She said that they came to protest in front of Parliament so that it could constitute a committee, including lawyers.

She said people of Balochistan were in deep shock and grief and looking for justice, adding that the Parliamentary Committee should be assigned the task to at least determine the people responsible for the Quetta blast.

Taking a different turn, Balochistan High Court Bar Association President Abdul Ghani Khilji said he has nothing to do with the statement of Indian Premier Narendra Modi. He said in Pakistan eight agencies are operating but if such an incident took place, questions arose on their performance.

He went on to say that target killers are arrested in the country but not a single handler of the suicide bomber arrested so far. Ghani made the statement when four to five lawyers constantly chanted slogan “Friend of Modi is traitor”, while other were shouting “Lawyers’ blood will not go waste”.

He also criticised Chief Justice of Pakistan for not taking into consideration the request of the legal fraternity for suo moto notice of the Quetta carnage wherein 70 persons, mostly lawyers, were killed and over 100 injured 

However, he said that the Chief Justice earlier had taken suo moto notice of the kidnapping of the son of chief justice of the Sindh High Court. During the protest, the leaders of Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association were standing with their groups and no sign of unity was witnessed among them.

Earlier, a protest camp was organised in the parking lawn of the Supreme Court wherein a large number of lawyers was present. Barrister Ali Zafar before moving to Parliament House to lodge the protest told reporters that they had given one month’s time to the government, which would complete on September 9.

He said that after that they will launch movement against the government. On this occasion, he also showed the picture of alleged suicide bomber, saying that this picture was given to them by the SP Police.

Vice Chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council Dr Farogh Naseem said that educated people were killed in Quetta blast but the government has not made any progress in unmasking the real culprits.

He further said that although the government has announced the compensation amount to the legal heirs of the people martyred and injured in the blast, no practical step in this direction was taken yet.