QUETTA: A day after two judges in Balochistan were kidnapped, lawyers boycotted court proceedings across the province and demanded immediate and safe recovery of missing lawyers and judges.
The strike on Monday was called by the Balochistan Bar Association, High Court Bar Association and the Balochistan Bar Council.
On Sunday, two judges were kidnapped in Jaffarabad district. Sibi District and Sessions Judge Jan Mohammad Gohar Yasinzai and Civil Judge Mohammad Ali Kakar were going to Usta Mohammad in a private car to attend a wedding, when a group of armed men intercepted and whisked them away.
Courts in the province were deserted as no lawyer appeared before the High Court, Sessions Court and local magistrates. All cases were adjourned till the next date of hearing.
People coming for hearings from remote areas returned home disappointed. They complained that there are strikes every other day. “It seems that everyone has been given a freehand to take law into their hands,” said Abdul Aziz who had come from Kuchlak, about 30-km from Quetta.
Lawyers threatened to hold protest rallies daily if kidnapped judges and lawyers are not recovered. “No one is secure in Balochistan and we, the lawyers, will launch a massive protest campaign to mobilise masses regarding complex issues confronting the province,” said President of Balochistan Bar Association Baz Mohammad Kakar.
Earlier, a meeting of lawyers was held in Quetta during which lawyers said there is no writ of the government and kidnappings have become a routine matter.
Four lawyers, Munir Ahmed Mirwani, Agha Zahir Shah, Saleem Akhtar and Tahir Ali advocate are listed as missing and their whereabouts are still not known.
Mirwani was whisked away from Khuzdar about 10 months ago while Zahir Shah, who was assisting the Balochistan High Court on cases of missing persons, was kidnapped a few days back. Saleem Akhtar Advocate and Tahir Ali were kidnapped from Dhadar area last week.
“The lawyers will soon hold a seminar in Quetta and invite all political parties and representatives of civil society to discuss the issues in Balochistan so that a joint struggle can be waged against this uncertainty and lawlessness,” Baz Mohammad said.
The lawyers announced to hold a rally today (Tuesday). Lawyers will boycott court proceedings after 11:00 am on a daily basis until the kidnapped judges and lawyers are recovered.
The strike on Monday was observed in Quetta, Kalat, Mastung, Sibi, Nasirabad, Jafarabad, Naushki, Chagai, Kila Abdullah, Kila Saifullah, Zhob, Lasbela, Kech, Gwadar, Panjgur, Kohlu, Jhal Magsi, Harani, Loralai, Pishin, Musa Khail and other districts.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2011.
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