The chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday summoned the provincial police chief over the killing of lawyers in the city. Representatives of lawyers will also attend the meeting with the IG police today (Thursday).
Three lawyers — Badr Muneer, Kafeel Jaffery and Shakeel Jaffery, all relatives — were shot dead from a close range by unidentified men when they were returning home after completing their day’s work. So far, six lawyers have fallen prey to target killings in the city this year.
The chief justice also called an urgent meeting for January 28 to review the city’s law and order situation and the performance of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
A Supreme Court’s five-member bench, in a suo moto case on target killings in Karachi, had directed the Sindh government to constitute a committee, headed by the SHC chief justice and assisted by the chief secretary and heads of security agencies, to review measures taken by the law enforcers for curbing target killings.
Shamim Bano adds: The Karachi Bar Association (KBA) announced a province-wide strike against the killing of the three lawyers.
President KBA Mehmmod-ul-Hasan told The News that the province-wide strike had been called during which the lawyers might also march to the Chief Minister House to lodge their protest against the killing of their colleagues.
This was the third target killing attack invovlving lawyers in the current year, in which six lawyers have lost their lives. Among them, four were the members of the KBA, while two were associated with Maqbool-ur-Rehman advocate.
Mehmood-ul-Hasan told this scribe that a complete strike would be observed in all the five district courts of the city against the brutal murder of lawyers.
Former KBA president Naeem Qureshi said that Wednesday’s killings seemed to have been committed in retaliation, as two lawyers belonging to the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat were gunned down the other day.
The situation remained grim at the City Courts after the killing of the lawyers. Some of the KBA members took to the street facing the City Courts and raised slogans against the government for not providing security to their community.
Following is the timeline of lawyers murdered this year:
JANUARY 25: Badr Muneer was the uncle of Kafeel Jaffery and father of Shakeel Jaffery. All the three lawyers were shot dead inside their car by unidentified motorcyclists while they were proceeding to their home in the afternoon.
JANUARY 24: Two assistants of the slain Maqbool-ur-Rehamn advocate — Mohammad Ali alias Mama and Mohammad Noman — were shot dead while they were coming out of City Courts.
JANUARY 11: Maqbool-ur-Rehman advocate was shot dead near the Islamia College while he was proceeding home.
Last year: 15 lawyers were shot dead in the city, while five were killed in interior Sindh.
Some Shia organisations have announced a complete strike in the city today against the killing of three lawyers who belonged to their community.
The decision was taken at a meeting with Maulana Nazir Abbas Naqvi of the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen in the chair on Wednesday. Other Shia organisations, including the Jafferia Alliance, the Millat-e-Jafferia and others endorsed the strike call.
The Shia leaders demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits or warned that they would stage sit-ins outside the chief minister and governor houses.
Condemning the incident, they held the Sindh government equally responsible as they believed that without being patronised by certain people, the Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamat – the new name of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba – could not function actively in the city.
For the last three months, they said Shia leaders were being targeted and yet the administration had taken no action against the criminals involved, they said, adding these killers were rather being allowed to roam freely in the city.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Sunni Tehreek strongly condemned the incident and said the government must immediately resign.
Meanwhile, a severe traffic jam was witnessed in the Old City area after activists of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) took to the streets in protest against the killing of their two legal advisers the other day.
The activists staged a sit-in and placed the bodies of the slain legal advisers on the ICI Bridge. They later dispersed peacefully after offering funeral prayers and after being assured by the authorities concerned that an FIR would be lodged against the culprits. The protesters had earlier planned to stage the sit-in outside the Chief Minister’s House.
All roads leading to the CM House were closed, causing massive gridlock on the adjoining arteries. The traffic chaos was also witnessed around the Gizri area and on Mai Kolachi Road, which also affected the adjacent arteries and roads in the DHA area.
Addressing the protesters, ASWJ spokesman Maulana Taj Hanafi said that their party activists were being targeted, but this time they would lodge a strong protest against the killings.