Three weeks after a young lawyer and his father were gunned down in a sectarian attack on Mauripur road, senior lawyer and noted ‘Zakir’, Kauser Saqlain, and his two sons were killed on the same road on Tuesday morning.
The Sindh High Court’s 45-year-old lawyer was on his way to Ghulaman-e-Abbas School on Mauripur road where his sons, 15-year-old Own Abbas and 12-year-old Mohammad Abbas, were studying.
“The assailants had complete information about his routine and the route he takes for dropping his sons before going to court,” Saqlain’s relative, Ali Ahmar, told The Express Tribune. “They targeted the family members when Saqlain slowed down his car near the railway track in Macchar Colony.”
According to eyewitnesses, the attackers were waiting for the lawyer at the spot. “Two young men in Western attire first parked their motorcycle, waited for Saqlain’s car and then opened fire,” said a witness.
The victims were shot multiple times in their heads and chests. The brothers died on the spot while their father succumbed to injuries at the Civil hospital.
On May 6, a young lawyer, Shakeel Ahmed Jan Bangash, and his father, advocate Ali Ahmed Jan, were shot dead in Mauripur.
Sectarian violence rising
Police officials believe that the wave of sectarian violence was once again taking over the city as two people of the Shia and Deoband sects were also gunned down on Monday. Investigators suspect that the same group of assailants might be behind the attack on Saqlain. “There is no doubt that the killings took place on sectarian grounds,” said Kalri SHO Haji Sanaullah. “But it is more dangerous as the assailants are targeting noted professionals on sectarian basis.”
Ghulaman-e-Abbas School is already on the hit-list as it belongs to the Shia community. Earlier, security agencies had foiled a bomb attack on the school by arresting militants. “It seems that the attackers punished the senior lawyer’s sons for being Shia and students of the Ghulaman-e-Abbas school,” said CID’s SSP Fayyaz Khan. “There is a possibility that the same people could attack the school.”
The funeral prayers for the three family members were offered at the Khurasan Imambargah at Numaish Chowrangi which was attended by large number of people, including leaders of the Shia community, scholars, relatives and lawyers. The bodies were later sent to their hometown, Chakwal, for burial.
Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen, announced three days of mourning. “People are being killed on sectarian basis but nobody is here to take notice,” said the MWM Karachi general-secretary, Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi. “We will hold a countrywide protest if those responsible for these attacks are not arrested soon.”
Lawyers on strike to protest killing
Lawyers boycotted court duties on Tuesday to protest against the killing of their colleague, 45-year-old Kauser Saqlain, and his two sons.
Lawyers boycotted proceedings of the Sindh High Court, city courts and Malir courts.
“We strongly condemn the killings and have called off court activities,” said Sindh High Court Bar Association’s president, Mustafa Lakhani. “Because of the strike, no legal proceedings took place at high court, city courts and Malir district courts.”
Lakhani demanded the culprits be arrested and punished immediately. He was also dismayed over the failure of the government to curb the targeted killing of lawyers.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2013.