Cities and towns went into shut-down mode as protests and rallies swept their streets in an outpouring of anger against the terrorist attack in Karachi’s Abbas Town on Sunday.
In Karachi, on Monday the legal fraternity observed a day of mourning to condemn the attack that killed more than 45 people and wounded over 100.
On the call of the Pakistan Bar Council, the Sindh, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa bar councils stayed away from the courts and observed a day of mourning.
Members of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, Karachi Bar Association and Malir District Bar Association did not turn up to plead their cases at the high court and subordinate courts and legal proceedings were suspended.
Six residents of Khairpur were among the victims of Sunday’s bombs. In upper Sindh, lawyers boycotted courts in protest. A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Sukkur, Khairpur, Rohri, Pano Akil and other nearby towns, while a partial strike was observed in some parts of districts Naushahro Feroze, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Kashmore. Protest rallies and demonstrations were staged in many localities here too.
The victims, who hailed from Khairpur, included Zeeshan Haider aka Mohammad Mian, Jaffer Ali, Kashif Hussain Abidi, Altaf Hussain, Munawwar Hussain and Baqar Zaidi.
It was a day for a strike and mourning in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions as well. The Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Hyderabad Traders Association announced that they would shut shop in solidarity with the victims. Men fired shots in the air to scare markets into closing in some areas. Multiple protests were also held.
All bar councils in Punjab observed a day of mourning, following a call by the Pakistan Bar Council and the Punjab Bar Council. The Supreme Court Bar Association, Lahore High Court Bar Association, as well as all district and tehsil bar associations followed suit.
Lawyers at the district and tehsil bars did not work at court in order to express solidarity with the bereaved families. In Lahore, no lawyers appeared in lower courts and proceedings were adjourned. However, at the Lahore High Court, lawyers did appear for urgent cases.
The association’s newly elected president Abid Saqi said there was a lack of law and order.
He urged the government to act against terrorism, adding that lawyers would start a movement against it themselves if the government failed.
Like other parts of the country, members of the Peshawar High Court Bar Association also boycotted court proceedings. The association’s vice president, Babar Yousafzai, said that law enforcement agencies should widen their investigation so that culprits were brought to justice.
Office bearers told the media that the decision in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was taken to endorse the strike call given by the Pakistan Bar Council.
Members of the Wahdatul Muslimeen staged a demonstration in front of the Quetta Press Club. Speakers blamed the federal and provincial governments for failing to protect the lives and property of the people.
They added that nothing has been done and every ethnicity and sect was unsafe.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2013.