Lawyers boycott courts over colleague’s killing
PESHAWAR, Feb 8: Local lawyers on Friday boycotted courts and observed a sit-in outside Governor’s House to protest the killing of senior attorney Malik Jarrar in the city.
They urged the Peshawar High Court chief justice to take suo moto notice of the ‘targeted killing’ for exemplary punishment of killers.
The 47-year-old, who was also a member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Council, was gunned down by two motorcyclists in Gulbahar area when he was driving his children, Mohsin and Hassan, to school in Saddar area.
After Mr Jarrar’s killing, lawyers, who had already announced to go on strike against the torture of their colleague, Furqan, by local police, held a general body meeting that was followed by a demonstration.
The protesters marched on Sher Suri Road and Khyber Road towards the Governor’s House and staged a sit-in there.
They demanded arrest of killers within 24 hours, saying if that didn’t happen, their protest would spread to other parts of the province.
They also called for suspension of Peshawar ASP Ali Akbar and officials of west cantonment police station for dereliction of duty.
Also in the day, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council announced boycott of courts across the province on Monday (Feb 11), while the Peshawar High Court Bar Association announced to observe black day and boycott of courts today (Saturday).
Meanwhile, the HRCP condemned its council member’s killing and urged the government to bring the killers to justice.
In a statement, it said: “Jarrar was a respected lawyer, a non-violent person to the core and one who as a tireless activist held the notion of all human rights for all people very close to his heart. His murder in a targeted attack demonstrates that the raging epidemic of murderous mayhem remains completely unchallenged.”
The HRCP said it called upon the government to take measures to guarantee safety of all citizens, including human rights defenders, and hoped that effective steps would be taken Lawyers boycott courts over colleague’s killing to bring the lawyer’s killers to justice.
Also, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar condemned the killing of Mr Jarrar and said the elements involved in the heinous crime would no more remain at large and would be brought to court of law.
He sympathised with the lawyer’s family and said he fully shared their grief and agony and that no effort would be spared to provide them with justice.
Imamia Students Organisation, Imamia Jirga and Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Fiqh Jafaria, too, condemned the killing declaring it a complete failure of the government and law-enforcement agencies.
Akhunzada Muzaffar Ali, member of Imamia Jirga, told Dawn: “We had boycotted a jirga (meeting) convened by the chief minister last month for the reason that only the holding of meetings can’t solve the problem and instead, the government should ensure early arrest of the killers of our people for exemplary punishment.”
He said the killing of Dr Riaz Hussain Shah, Dr Shah Nawaz Ali, Abrar Hussain, Dr Jamal and an attempt on the life of additional sessions judge Ihtesham Ali in Peshawar during the last few weeks confirmed the government’s failure to protect public life.
“We can take revenge in no time but our leaders and ulema do not allow us to do so. Police know who are involved in the killings but don’t arrest them. We are bound to say law-enforcement agencies are responsible for these killings,” he said.He demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry take suo motu notice of the killings and order arrest of the killers.