Lawyers’ strike against abductions leaves courtrooms deserted in Balochistan

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

QUETTA - Lawyers have boycotted court proceedings across Balochistan to protest against the abductions of lawyers and judges in the province, and demanded their immediate and safe recovery.

The Balochistan Bar Association, the High Court Bar Association and the Balochistan Bar Council called the strike a day after two judges were abducted in Jaffarabad district, The Express Tribune reports.

The two judges were going to Usta Mohammad in a private car to attend a wedding when a group of armed men intercepted and whisked them away.

Four lawyers, Munir Ahmed Mirwani, Agha Zahir Shah, Saleem Akhtar and Tahir Ali are also listed as missing- one of them since last ten months- and their whereabouts are still not known.

A meeting of lawyers was held in Quetta, during which they complained that there was no writ of the government and kidnappings had become a routine matter in the province. They threatened to hold protest rallies on a daily basis if abducted judges and lawyers were not recovered.

“No one is secure in Balochistan and we, the lawyers, will launch a massive protest campaign to mobilise masses regarding complex issues confronting the province,” said President of Balochistan Bar Association Baz Mohammad Kakar.

“The lawyers will soon hold a seminar in Quetta and invite all political parties and representatives of civil society to discuss the issues in Balochistan so that a joint struggle can be waged against this uncertainty and lawlessness,” he added.

The strike on Monday was observed in many Baloch districts, and the lawyers also announced to hold a rally on Tuesday (today).

Meanwhile, people coming for court hearings from remote areas returned home disappointed, as all cases were adjourned till the next date of hearing due to the strike.

“It seems that everyone has been given a freehand to take law into their hands,” rued Abdul Aziz, who had come from Kuchlak, about 30 km from Quetta. (ANI)

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