A lawyer was shot dead here on Wednesday over some litigation dispute.
Advocate Muhammad Tariq Paswal, a resident of Paswal village in Shakargarh tehsil and a member of the Tehsil Bar Association, was on his way home from the tehsil court when some armed men stopped him and opened fire, injuring him critically.
He succumbed to his injuries on way to Shakargarh Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. Police shifted the body to THQ hospital for autopsy.
After receipt of information, tehsil bar members gathered at the hospital and demanded security for the legal fraternity.
Speaking on the occasion, Advocate Shahid Mehmood said Tariq was forbidden by the opponents of his client from appearing in the court and was allegedly shot dead by them.
The lawyers’ community observed complete strike on Thursday at the Peshawar High Court’s principal seat and attached nine districts against assassination attempt on Swabi-based senior lawyer Mohammad Ishfaq Khan.
The strike call was given by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council (KPBC).
Mr Ishfaq, who is also Razaar tehsil president of Awami National Party, was seriously injured when he was attacked by two unidentified motorcyclists near his hujra (guest house) on Monday.
The lawyers mostly stayed away from proceedings before different courts, including the high court.
KPBC vice-chairman Mohammad Ali Khan Jadoon, its executive committee chairman Mohammad Ilyas Khan and other members stated that so far the police had failed to arrest the culprits, which was a matter of concern for them.
In a press release issued here, they urged the PHC chief justice to order the provincial government for enhancing security measures on the premises of courts and to provide protection to lawyers.
In Swabi, no lawyer appeared in the courts on Thursday and the lawyers held meetings and discussed their next line of action.
A Pakistani court on Monday dismissed a case filed by the powerful military against a prominent human rights activist and lawyer after she allegedly used abusive words against Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, the daughter of former human rights minister Shireen Mazari, had allegedly hurled abusive words against Bajwa after her mother was arrested from outside her house in a land ownership case last month.
A first information report (FIR) was filed against Mazari-Hazir on May 26 in Islamabad on the complaint of Lt Colonel Syed Humayun Iftikhtar, who was representing the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch of the General Headquarters (GHQ).
She was booked under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code for inciting people against armed forces and abetment of act of insubordination by soldier by making a “derogatory and hateful” statement on May 21.
Mazari-Hazir challenged the case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), stating that the “FIR is ill-founded and allegations are absurd”.
The lawyers on Thursday observed a partial strike as they were not appearing in the lower courts of Lahore division against the murder of an advocate in Raiwind.
The Punjab Bar Council (PBC) has demanded that the accused involved in the murder of the lawyer named Ahsan Bhatti should be arrested immediately.
It is to be noted here that Ahsan Bhatti had been shot dead by unidentified motorcycle riders at Chajju Chowk in Raiwind on June 1, 2022 (Wednesday) when he was on his way along with his friend Nadeem in a car.
Nadeem was also killed in firing by the accused, whereas, two others sustained critical injuries.
“The deceased lawyer was a nephew of former MPA Abdul Rasheed Bhatti,” police said, adding that old enmity seemed to be the reason behind the dual murder.
Police also claimed to have collected evidence from the site of the incident and stated that the accused would soon be arrested.
The Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) also took notice of the murder of the lawyer and directed Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Siddique Kamyana to ensure early arrest of the accused.
Pakistan’s first transgender lawyer Nisha Rao sustained injuries after being attacked in Saddar, Karachi by four men.
Trans Pride Society, an NGO founded by Nisha Rao, narrated the incident calling it a ‘heinous crime.’ It said Nisha was attacked during a visit to members of the transgender community in Saddar by four men on two motorbikes as she got off a rickshaw to walk towards her friend’s apartment.
It said the aggressors beat and stole her belongings. One man used a ring to pierce Nisha’s scalp while his accomplices stole her handbag and mobile phone.
Nisha is a strong advocate for the transgender community and spends her time working as a lawyer in the City Court of Karachi where she fights for the rights of transgenders, in addition to attending Karachi University where she is receiving her Masters of Law degree.
“Serving and empowering the transgender community is Nisha’s biggest determination in life and it is crimes like these that make her fear the fragmented society we live in,” the statement said. It cannot be known whether it was a targeted attack and the identity of the perpetrators remains unknown.
The trans community and lawyers have demanded police take immediate action and arrest the culprits. In April 2021, five transgender persons were killed and eight sustained injuries in separate attacks.
Nisha Rao is Pakistan’s first trangender lawyer to be accepted into an MPhil programme to study law at Karachi University.
A leading human rights lawyer has been banned from leaving Pakistan, raising fears he will be targeted after holding a role in the previous Pakistani Government focused on investigating political corruption.
Shahzad Akbar, who has run campaigns against drone strikes in Pakistan and represented people facing torture, disappearance and the death penalty, had until January this year served as an Advisor in the Pakistani government responsible for anti-corruption efforts.
It was revealed in the press yesterday that Mr Akbar has been placed on a no-fly list, despite there being no known charges against him.
Today the human rights organisation Reprieve issued an urgent warning on behalf of Mr Akbar, and called for the travel ban to be rescinded.
Mr Akbar was a Reprieve Fellow and continues to work to challenge human rights abuses alongside NGOs in Pakistan and around the world.
“Shahzad Akbar is a fearless campaigner for human rights and against state corruption. This travel ban is a chilling sign he may be persecuted for his work holding power to account. Restricting his liberty in this way would undermine the rule of law and impede his vital work as a human rights defender”.
The sessions court on Saturday became a battlefield as two parties pursuing a criminal case scuffled with each other and also thrashed lawyers.
The miscreants, dozens in number, used fists and kicks besides ransacking the furniture of the makeshift chambers of some lawyers. They also attacked each other with empty glass bottles of cold drinks. Several of them suffered minor injuries.
Advocate Hassaan Niazi said there was no one to stop the perpetrators as they put the lives of lawyers and litigants in danger. He said the culprits threw glass bottles and other solid articles on each other, which created panic on court premises.
Niazi said the police personnel deputed at the sessions court failed to respond to the situation timely. He said such incidents had become the order of the day due to the absence of the state’s writ.
Later, a team of the Islampura police reached the spot and arrested 20 miscreants from both parties. The police also registered a case on the complaint of a lawyer against the arrested persons and others. The FIR contains charges under section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 in addition to the offences under the provisions of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Lahore Bar Association President Rao Sami told Dawn that the bar had taken an exception to the incident and would ensure that the culprits were brought to justice. He said several options had been discussed in meetings with Lahore’s sessions judge and police higher-ups to control these incidents of hooliganism on court premises.
He said the meetings proposed SOPs for the litigants visiting courts on a daily basis. He said the influx of the citizens in courts in the shape of large groups to support their dear ones pursuing or facing criminal cases was a matter of serious concern.
Sami said the bar resolved to show zero tolerance against the violators of law and order. He said entry of unwarranted people would be banned soon. He said persons other than the parties in a case should not be permitted to enter courts.
The lawyers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday stayed away from courts to protest the murder of one of their colleagues in Dargai tehsil a day earlier.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council had given the call for protest after unidentified persons shot dead Zamnir Gul advocate on Wednesday.
The lawyers boycotted the courts across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and demanded the government to arrest the killers of Zamir Gul and provide security to the community in the province. The speakers said that police must provide security to the lawyers’ community across the province or else they would not hesitate to come on to the roads for their rights.