Lawyers’ wings having sympathies with Osama bin Laden, have scheduled funeral prayers for him at the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) for Friday.
For the past three days, activists of Jamatud Dawa (JD) have been sending text messages to random mobile phones to ask the recipients to participate in the funeral prayers. On Thursday, pamphlets were distributed at the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) asking people to participate in the funeral prayers to be held at 10:30 am on the LHCBA premises.
During the general house meeting of the LHCBA on Thursday, a man entered the Kiani Hall and started distributing the pamphlets among the lawyers. Of at least 100 lawyers present, only one refused the pamphlet and expressed his anger at seeing it.
The pamphlet calls Bin Laden “Shaheed-i-Ummat” (martyr of the Muslim ummah) and glorifies him as a soldier of Islam. The pamphlet carries the names of several lawyers’ bodies including Islamic Lawyers Movement (the lawyers wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami), Hurmat-i-Rasool (pbuh) Committee of LHCBA (a JD wing), Peace Lawyers Forum, Al-Ummat Lawyers Forum, Jammu Kashmir Wukala Mahaz and Khatam-i-Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum.
The pamphlet asks the readers to ensure their participation.
The pamphlet says the soldiers of Presidents Bush and Obama were mistaken in believing that by killing Bin Laden and throwing his body into the sea thought that they had ended the war against them.
It also condemns the local media for calling Shahbaz Bhatti and Bhagat Singh as Shaheed but not using the word for Bin Laden.
LHCBA president Asghar Ali Gill expressed ignorance about any plans for a funeral at the bar premises. He said the bar was not organising the funeral. Even if some lawyers arranged such an activity, he said, it should not be attributed to the bar.
The pamphlets also demands the release of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the confessed killer of Salman Taseer.
Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal said that it was improper to call the governor’s confessed killer a hero and demand his release. She said it pained her that some lawyers had arranged funeral prayers for Bin Laden and sponsored pamphlets in favour of Qadri. She said lawyers who had fought for supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, should always speak for the right and uphold the national interest.
Justice Iqbal said some extremist elements among the legal fraternity were trying to cast aspersion on all lawyers. She said it was a conspiracy against lawyers and they should realise it.
She said after their successful movement for the restoration of judges the lawyers were recognised as champions of rule of law, but some elements were trying to tarnish their image by attributing extremism to them.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.
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