In another gruesome act of sectarian violence, a senior judge was shot dead in Quetta on Thursday, along with his guard and driver.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Quetta, Zulfiqar Hussain Naqvi, had left his home at around 8am for the sessions court when unidentified armed assassins, who sat in ambush at the Railway Level Crossing near GOR Colony, opened indiscriminate fire.
The judge, his driver Musa Khan, and bodyguard Abdul Shakur were killed on the spot.
According to eyewitness accounts, the attackers, who were on two motorcycles, targeted the judge and sped away.
Law enforcement agencies, Frontier Corps and the police rushed to the spot soon after the incident and cordoned off the area.
The deceased were taken to the Sandeman Hospital for autopsy.
Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, other judges and lawyers rushed to the hospital, where they were told that Naqvi and the two others had succumbed to their injuries.
They condemned the act of violence and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
Capital City Police Officer Quetta (CCPO) Mir Zubair told reporters that two committees headed by DIG Investigation and DIG CID are to hold inquiry into the incident.
The body of the deceased judge was shifted to the Imambargah for funeral prayers and later taken to Karachi for burial.
Protests and boycotts
Mother of Zulfiqar Hussain Naqvi registered a protest at the Civil Hospital and said she will not take her son’s body home till the government takes action against the killers.
Angry protesters staged demonstrations outside the Civil Hospital and condemned the judge’s killing. They also blocked main Jinnah Road for traffic.
The Balochistan Bar Association (BBA) President Dawood Kasi has announced a two-day boycott of courts all over Balochistan in protest against the target shooting.
“If the culprits are not arrested we will register our protest,” he said.
Lawyers in Karachi observed a day of protest by boycotting all court proceedings on Thursday as soon as news of the killing was received. Additionally, a call for a strike was given by the Sindh Bar Council (SBC) which was endorsed by Karachi Bar Association. Concurrently, lawyers in Lahore remained off court premises following a strike call by the Punjab Bar Council.
Secretary Lahore High Court Association, Sardar Akbar Ali Dogar, talking to The Express Tribune said the killing of a sessions judge demonstrated that law enforcement agencies have failed to protect the lives of not just citizens but also government officials in Balochistan.
The Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and Tahafoz-e-Izadari Council condemned the target killing of Shias in Quetta. They demanded of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take notice of the murder and announced three days of mourning.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani also called an official report into the incident.
Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa ordered Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, IG Police and others concerned to appear before the court.
(Read: Uninterrupted death)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.
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