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HRCP for promptly addressing threats to legal community in Quetta

 Q BLAST

LAHORE:(APS) August 11,2016- The HRCP has voiced grave concern over a bomb blast in Quetta on Thursday that sought to target a judge of the Federal Shariat Court. It has demanded prompt action to ensure protection for lawyer and judges.

In a statement, the Commission said: “It is difficult not to see the explosion in Quetta targeting Federal Shariat Court (FSC) Judge Zahoor Shawani and his security detail as a continuation of tagetting of the legal fraternity in Quetta.

“Fortunately, the FSC judge escaped injury but over a dozen people, including police personnel and civilians were injured. The bombing comes just days after a bombing killed over 70 people, mostly lawyers, in Quetta. Thursday’s attack is a further reminder of the vulnerability of the legal community in Quetta

Amid the prevailing fear of violence among lawyers and judges in the provincial capital of Balochistan, it is difficult for them to carry out their functions independently and impartially, or even to move around.

“We hope and expect that Monday’s devastating attack—the single most deadly assault ever on lawyers in Pakistan—has drawn the required attention not only to the prevailing law and order in Quetta but also to the need to ensure security for members of the bar and the bench, which is vital for the functioning of an independent legal profession and for rule of law itself. The attack against Justice Shahwani is particularly alarming amid an apparently heightened state of security.

“HRCP urges the government to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the attacks against the legal community in Quetta this week with the aim to bring the perpetrators to justice. Without urgent steps for the security of lawyers and judicial officers it is difficult to see how they will be able to fulfill their functions independently and without pressure.

“Finally, we doubt that this dangerous upsurge in violence will stop with the lawyers and the judges in Quetta. Who knows who the next target would be. We hope that all those concerned with matters of security and governance, including those in the political opposition, would resist the temptation to indulge in blame games and will proceed with doing all they can to ensure that the citizens’ lives are protected.”

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