KARACHI - The lawyer community observed a black day on Monday and continued the boycott of courts against the killing of their colleagues, as negotiations between the legal fraternity and the Sindh government failed to reach a conclusion over targeted killing of lawyers in Karachi and other provincial districts. The protest campaign was announced on Saturday by lawyers’ representative bodies against the recent target killings of former Sindh Bar Council (SBC) vice president Ali Muhammad Dahiry and two lawyer brothers, Altaf Hussain and Nazir Hussain.
On Monday, lawyers, representing different bars, under the leadership of Iftikhar Javed Qazi, Rasheed A Rizvi, M Aqil, Haider Imam Rizvi, Ashraf Samon and Abid Zuberi among others, staged a token sit-in in front of the Chief Minister’s House and chanted slogans against the government and the law enforcement agencies on their failure to curb target killings. The lawyer leaders announced that the protest campaign will continue on Tuesday (today) and if the government fails to fulfil their genuine demands, the future strategy will be finalised in the next couple of days after holding consultations with all relevant bodies.
The three-day protest is being staged on a joint call given by Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), SBC, Sindh High Court Bar Council (SHCBA), Karachi Bar Association (KBA) and Malir District Bar Association (MDBA).
A delegation of lawyers also went to the Chief Minister’s House to meet Qaim Ali Shah but the latter was busy in an emergency meeting regarding the PNS Mehran attack. The lawyers were irked by his unavailability and came out chanting slogans against the chief minister and the Sindh government.
Later, Sindh Katchi Abadis and Spatial Development Minister Rafiq Engineer and Adviser to Chief Minister Rashid Rabbani held negotiations with the lawyer leaders and tried to convince them to call off their strike. They assured the protesting lawyers that recommendations would be forwarded to the chief minister for payment of compensation to the families of the deceased lawyers and the killers of lawyers would be arrest soon.
However, the protesting lawyers demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits involved in killing lawyers and the talks ended without any conclusion. The lawyers announced continuing their protest on the third day.Earlier, the KBA boycotted courts proceedings at the city courts and held a protest rally condemning the target killing of nine lawyers during the ongoing month of May. The KBA also held a general body meeting at Shuhda-e-Punjab Hall, where PBC member Zai Awan, SBC Vice Chairman Iftikhar Javid Qazi and members Naeem Qureshi and Mehmoodul Hasan; KBA President Muhammad Aqil and Secretary Haider Imam Rizvi among others, strongly condemned the killing of lawyers and demanded the arrest of culprits.
Criticising the government and the law enforcers for failing to protect people, the speakers expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s negligence, due to which targeted killings were continuing unabated in the metropolis. The lawyer leaders were of the view that citizens have been the worst sufferers of the deteriorating law and order situation, as the government has failed to arrest the criminals. Several lawyers have lost their lives while performing their professional duties but so far none of the culprits has been arrested, which is sheer negligence of the higher authorities, they added.