- The suicide bomb blast on August 8 at the entrance to the emergency department of the hospital in Quetta, has left the region lawless in more than one way
- As the country mourned the victims, the lawyers said they would boycott court proceedings indefinitely
- Now, there are very few lawyers left in Baluchistan and it will take years for the legal community to recover from this tragedy
August 19,2016: In what can be described as a devastating and inhumane attack, about 60 senior practicing lawyers and barristers were killed in the Baluchistan’s Capital Quetta on Monday, August 8. The suicide bomb blast on Monday at the entrance to the emergency department of the hospital in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, has left the region lawless in more than one way.
Balochistan faces many problems ranging from a suppressing government to the terrorist organisations, that has left the city in a precarious condition. Baluchistan, which is the home of the decades-old separatist insurgency is filled by real grievances over neglect and lack of political representation, mentioned The Washington Post. It borders Iran and Afghanistan and has abundant natural resources like oil and gas. There is violence between Sunni and Shia sect of the Muslim community, and leaders of the province are widely considered corrupt by many. There have been many reports of journalists being kidnapped as well, that makes it difficult for foreign journalists to step in that area.
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The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, Pakistani Taliban faction and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, have both claimed responsibility for the suicide attack at a hospital in Pakistan’s Quetta that killed more 70 people and injured more than a hundred.
The lawyers were at the emergency unit, because earlier that day (August 8) Bilal Anwar Kasi, the former president of the Balochistan Bar Association was shot by armed men. He was on his way to work when he was attacked and later he died due to the injuries. The lawyers and two cameramen who were present at the hospital to pay respect to Kasi who died from the blast at the gate of the emergency room were killed too.
As the country mourned the victims, the lawyers said they would boycott court proceedings indefinitely. It has been 12 days since the start of the boycott and the lawyers have refused to partake in judicial activities. They have refrained from appearing in the district sessions and high courts throughout the city. The lawyers refused to show up to represent their clients and judicial activities remained suspended.
Now, there are very few lawyers left in Baluchistan and it will take years for the legal community to recover from this tragedy.
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A member of the Baluchistan Bar Council, Barkhurdar Khan, was one of the few lawyers who survived the attack. Through social media, he has expressed his sadness and the details of the heartbreaking incident. He has practiced in Quetta for nine months and he shares his grief over the death of his fellow law-practitioners, mentioned a leading news portal.
“All, I repeat ALL senior practicing lawyers and barristers died today. The number of junior lawyers, who are the sole breadwinners of their homes and who are now unemployed runs into hundreds, “said Khan to The Washington Post. “Most of those who died were first-gen educated. The scenes of misery and loss cannot be put into words. The bent shoulders of their fathers, the broken backs of their brothers. Their kids, still oblivious to their own loss, playing and hoping.”
– prepared by Ajay Krishna of NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14