Three lawyers were shot dead while a fourth sustained injuries on Wednesday in a drive-by attack in broad daylight by unidentified assailants in a crowded area of Karachi.
According to eyewitnesses, a white coloured Suzuki Khyber was intercepted by four unidentified gunmen on motorcycles who opened fire on the car within the limits of PS Aram Bagh.
The victims included a father and his son. Badar Munir Jaffery, his son Kafeel Jaffery and Shakeel Jaffery were shot multiple times during the attack. Badar Munir was a member of the managing committee of the Karachi Bar Association in 2011.
The victims were taken to Civil Hospital for treatment but three of them were pronounced dead. Babar Ali, who was the fourth passenger in the car, also sustained injuries during the attack. However, he is now believed to be in stable condition at Civil Hospital.
Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan believed the attack was sectarian. “We have noticed a few sectarian killings lately, which are aimed at creating chaos in Karachi,” he said.
SSP South Naeem Shaikh, who was present at the scene of the crime, said that all aspects would be explored during further investigations.
According to sources, the slain lawyers hailed from Rahim Yar Khan. And two brothers of victim Badar Munir – Advocate Qadeer Jafri and Taajul Mulk Jafri – had been killed earlier in target killings allegedly claimed by the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Munir had relocated to Karachi to avoid militant organisations in the region some 12 years ago, the source added.
The killings led to a strong condemnation from the lawyers’ community across the country. The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Muhammad Yasin Khan Azad said they would protest against the killings by a country-wide boycott of court proceedings on Thursday.
Azad believed that only a serious and honest investigation of the killing would lead to an end to the “genocide of lawyers” in the country. The country-wide boycott was also called for by Karachi Bar Association (KBA) and the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).
KBA President Mehmood ul Hassan visited Civil Hospital to condole with the victims’ family while PBC executive committee Chairman Asrarul Haq Mian condemned the failure of the law enforcement agencies in eliminating incidents of target killings in Karachi.
The first month of 2012 has already seen six lawyers being killed, including the three who were gunned down on Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2012.
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