MULTAN/ LAHORE: Notable human rights lawyer Rashid Rehman Advocate was shot dead at his office in Multan Wednesday evening.
According to police and eyewitnesses, two armed men opened fire at Rashid Rehman after entering his law chamber in Multan’s Kutchery Square, killing him on the spot. His colleague Nadeem Pervaiz Advocate and client Muhammad Afzal were seriously injured.
“The incident took place at 8:45pm,” said City Police Officer (CPO) Sultan Ahmed Chaudhry, in the jurisdiction of Chehlak police station.
Rehman, who was also the coordinator for the Punjab office of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), had been facing threats for pleading the case of a blasphemy suspect.
In a report published in The Express Tribune on April 13, Rehman said he was threatened by five people, both inside and outside the court, for representing Junaid Hafeez – a man accused of committing blasphemy using his Facebook account. Two of those who threatened him were part of the prosecution team in the case, he had said at the time
In addition to them, three unidentified men had also warned him to drop the case or he would not be able to come to court to represent Junaid, according to the deceased lawyer.
The Special Branch of the Punjab police later alerted law enforcement agencies, according to another report published in The Express Tribune on April 29. No case was registered against the three men at the time, however, even though Rehman had submitted an application in this regard.
Sharing details of the incident with The Express Tribune, a senior police official said two young men entered Rehman’s chambers around 8pm and said they wanted to contract a court marriage. After they left, two other men came to Rehman and made the same request, he said. Once the second pair left, the first two came back and opened fire at everyone in the office.
“This sequence of events suggests the incident was a target killing,” the police official said. “The two groups and their odd requests were likely a pretext to ensure they had the right target.”
He said the possibility that the men who threatened Rehman earlier were involved in the killing could not be ruled out.
Eyewitnesses narrated a similar sequence of events. “Two men entered Rehman’s chambers as petitioners first, and then masked themselves and opened fire after entering the office a second time,” one witness said.
Although they rushed to the spot upon hearing the gunshots, witnesses said the attackers had fled the scene by then.
The deceased and the injured were rushed to the Nishtar hospital, where doctors pronounced Rehman dead, while his colleague was said to be in critical condition.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2014.
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The Indian state of Gujarat which used to be racked by religious riots regularly has been religious riot free for the past 12 years. Perhaps the Pakistani state governments might want to compare notes with the Chief Minister of Gujarat about maintaining law & order.
@Nikki: Religious terrorism is more dangerous than nuclear terrorism. Every man is holding a certificate to kill everyone in Pakistan.The worst example of ‘lawlessness’
You got this part absolutely right. What you still dont realize is that religious terrorism is Army's gift to Pakistan.
Following events reported in Express Tribunes article of April 29, 2014 it was only a matter of time before the gentleman was liquidated.
Long live deep state! what a great fruit we are having by letting ZAB hanged, BB killed, Ret. Major Gen Amir Faisal Alvi Shaheed die and we are told to believe that TTP has done that NOT those against whom he was complaining for cooperation with TTP, Deportation of Nawaz Sharif, genocide of Shias and other minorities, oppressing media and anyone who comes in between them and there interests, whether it is MFN for India (that will lead to the competition means lower prices for better quality....... BUT STOP!!!!!!! MFN to India will be NO DOUBT BENIFICIAL for the people of the region because of the competition but it will cut the profits of some companies owned by very powerful in fact MOST powerful ppl of this land of pure ) or revival of Railway(That will CUT the profit of largest carrying company of this land of pure) these all are not enough for this nation to wake up from the deep sleep. ET can you publish this.
why do u ppl always chase towards the "Religious" perspective of any story? why can't any sane-minded think that this might be a personal/professional/any other type of rivalry and his rivals camouflaged themselves in the pretext of blasphemy case............................
Every time, such incidents happen only in Punjab!!!!! But the throne of Lahore would always protect them for they seek protection from the same elements!!!!! double standards!
It is obviously a plot to defame Islam and Pakistan. No Muslim would do such a thing. Please don't blame without producing proof first.
Another Sane Voice Silenced....Rashid you shall be remembered!!
@ISROFan: Not even in the slightest... don't talk nonsense about a religion you clearly know nothing about.
@A: this IS, now dont shy in accepting it. You got what Jinnah wanted. Enjoy man, you are dispecting your founding father by this your sentiments. shame.
One major way of healing is to repeal this horrible law
He could have been killed for other personal reasons. Someone could have seen this as an opportunity to exact revenge and shift the blame. A lawyer like him has many enemies.
Extremely sad. Good educated professionals are being eliminated. Just look at the number of lawyers killed in last 6 months. Government has to protect it's citizens
Religious terrorism is more dangerious than nuclear terrprism.Every man is holding a certificate to kill everyone in Pakistan.The worst example of 'lawlesness'
@A: This IS.
Good for all the guys who wanted a country in the name of religion.
Agony for all except religious fanatics. This is not Islam.
What a shame yet another prominent human rights leader is killed and time for rightwing apologists to shower flowers on the killers.
No future Pakistan. We will sink in our quagmire we created. What a shame that a lawyer representing someone most probably falsely blamed for blasphemy was killed.