SHABQADAR: The Shabqadar Bar Association has reiterated demands for the construction of a judicial complex and administration offices in the tehsil, saying the chief minister repeatedly ignored their request. Before the March 7 blast, courts had been operating out of the irrigation department.
This was discussed during a news conference held on Friday after an event commemorating the Chehlum of victims of the suicide attack on a court complex in Shabqadar on March 7.
Representatives of the bar association urged political leaders to put an end to genocide in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Shabqadar Bar Association President Sher Qadir said lawyers in the region have also stood up against lawlessness in the past and continue to fight for their rights.
“After the Shabqadar blast, we held a meeting with Chief Minister Pervez Khattak,” he said. “We demanded the construction of the judicial complex. However, the CM has ignored our request and we have now decided to boycott all [major] forums.”
According to Qadir, Charsadda was made a district in 1985 but Shabqadar was declared a tehsil in 2005 after a struggle of 20 years.
“Although Shabqadar is a tehsil, it does not enjoy privileges that accompany this status,” he said. “There is neither a judicial complex nor a tehsil complex in Shabqadar.”
He added, “The March 7 blast happened in the irrigation department building where courts had been operating out of for a long time.”
The bar association’s president said the courts were closed for 20 days after the blast.
“Now, it is operating from the house of judge on Peshawar Road,” he said. “All lawyers and their clients are working under the open sky while judges and their staff are working inside the house.”
Qadir said only routine work is being carried out and no trials for civil and criminal cases are being conducted.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said. “The government should start work on the construction of a judicial complex with immediate effect otherwise we will boycott court proceedings.”
Qadir also demanded compensation for the families of two legal assistants who died in the blast.
“Their children must be employed in government department,” he said. “The lawyers who were injured in the blast need treatment and the government should bear expenses.”
On this occasion, lawyers paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the attack.
At least 18 people died and 20 others were injured in March 7 blast.
After the blast, the courts were closed for security reasons.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2016.
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