DERA GHAZI KHAN / MULTAN / LAHORE: Lahore High Court justices condemned the Quetta blast and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families. LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and other judges strongly condemned the murder of Bilal Anwar Kasi, the Balochistan High Court Bar Association president, and the suicide attack in which scores of lawyers, journalists and other citizens were killed and injured. They offered their sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families. The judges prayed for the early recovery of the wounded.
The chief justice personally spoke to Khan Abdul Ghani Khan, the Balochistan High Court Bar Association president, and expressed his grief and solidarity with the lawyers.
Condemnations also poured in from the Supreme Court Bar Association, the Lahore High Court Bar Association and the Lahore Bar Association.
SCBA president Syed Ali Zafar too expressed solidarity with lawyers, journalists and people affected by the blast. He said that a seven-day mourning period would be observed. He also announced a three-day strike in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
At a press conference after the blast, the Lahore Bar Association (LBA) representatives said that they would lock down district courts and not let anyone enter the premises if adequate security arrangements were not put in place within a week.
They also condemned the killing of Quetta Bar Association’s president Bilal Anwar Kasi saying that the government had failed to provide security to lawyers.
The LBA representatives announced a week-long mourning. They said they would observe a strike on August 9.
LBA acting president Shahid Maqsood Bhulla said that the government should realise that it was its responsibility to protect life and property of citizens. The capacity of law enforcement agencies should be improved to preempt such attacks.
He said several lawyers had been targeted in recent days. These included former Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) member Chaudhary Nasrullah Warraich, he said. It was unfortunate that there had been no progress in tracking down the culprits, he added.
“The hidden hands involved in such incidents are trying to take the country towards anarchy,” he said.
LBA secretary Shahid Nawab Cheema said the lawyers would not tolerate the government’s apathetic attitude towards their security concerns. He said they had held a series of meeting with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and police high ups but there had been no improvement in security arrangements for the district courts. He said the police were busy performing security duties only with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders.
He also condemned the police for their failure to curb kidnapping of children in the province. He said that instead of going to the root of the problem the police had falsely implicated some innocent citizens in kidnapping cases. He said the LBA would hold a general house session on August 9 (today) to devise a strategy for action against the government if it failed to ensure foolproof security at district courts within a week.
Multan and Bahawalpur benches of the Lahore High Court and district courts across southern districts of the province remained closed on Monday to mourn the killing of innocent citizens in the suicide blast in Quetta.
In Multan, lawyers, journalists and representatives of some civil society organisations held a rally to condemn the terrorist attack and to express solidarity with the relatives of the deceased.
Speaking on the occasion, Multan Bar Association president Jamshed Hayat Sheikh said lawyers were working without security of life, particularly in Balochistan. He urged the government to ensure good treatment facilities for those injured in the attack.
The rally participants prayed for peace in the country and for strength for the bereaved families.
The Dera Ghazi Khan Bar Association took out a protest rally under the leadership of District Bar Association president Behram Khan Bazdar and general secretary Muhammad Azhar Sikhani. It boycotted courts to condemn the attack and to express solidarity with the bereaved families.