Pakistani lawyers chant slogans to condemn Monday's suicide bombing that took place in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed and wounded scores of people, mostly lawyers., in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.
Pakistani lawyers chant slogans to condemn Monday’s suicide bombing that took place in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed and wounded scores of people, mostly lawyers., in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (Photo: B.K. Bangash/AP)

Lawyers across Pakistan protested on Tuesday against the violent attacks that occurred in the southwestern city of Quetta yesterday that killed more than 70 people—mostly lawyers.

Following calls for a strike by the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, legal professionals from all over the country are boycotting court proceedings to protest the bomb attack at a local hospital that killed and injured lawyers who were mourning the death of another colleague.

According to the Karachi-based English language daily newspaper The Express Tribune , lawyers and judges in the capital of Islamabad, and in provinces Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, adjourned court proceedings and demanded justice for the victims and arrests for perpetrators.

All legal proceedings were suspended at the Sindh High Court, which is seated in the provincial capital of Karachi, at the request of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, the newspaper reported . Proceedings were also halted at the Karachi City courts.

The Islamabad High Court Bar Association and the Islamabad District Bar Association also both announced a boycott of all court proceedings, the Express Tribune reported .

In Lahore, the capital of the eastern Pakistani province Punjab, and in Peshawar, the capital of the northern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, local bar associations also condemned the attacks and announced strikes.

The bombing happened on Monday morning at the Civil Hospital in Quetta, capital city of the southwestern province of Balochistan. A suicide bomb went off as dozens of lawyers gathered in the hospital mourning the death of Bilal Anwar Kasi, a lawyer who served as the president of the Balochistan Bar Association before being killed in a drive-by shooting earlier yesterday. The lawyers killed by the blast also include Baz Muhammad Kakar, a predecessor of Kasi’s as the president of the provincial bar association.

The Pakistan Bar Association is proposing a two-stage victim compensation scheme to the government, the Express Tribune reported . In the first stage, the payment proposed is about $19,130 (2 million Pakistani rupees) for the families of each lawyer killed, and $9,566 to each lawyer injured in the attack. The proposal also recommends a second stage in which an additional $47,830 would be paid to the families of each lawyer killed, and $23,900 to each lawyer injured in the attack.

Following the attack, both the Islamic State (ISIL) and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to Al-Jazeera .

Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif , who had visited the victims at the hospital yesterday, said the attack in Quetta was an attempt to undermine security in the province, especially targeting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC project.

Balochistan is the largest province by area in Pakistan. While Quetta is located in the northern part of the province near Afghanistan, Balochistan also borders the Arabian Sea to the south and is envisioned as a key intersection of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiatives—namely the inland-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-facing Maritime Silk Road. Chinese companies are planning multibillion-dollar-worth projects in the seaport city of Gwadar.

Email: azhang@alm.com

Lawyers across Pakistan protested on Tuesday against the violent attacks that occurred in the southwestern city of Quetta yesterday that killed more than 70 people—mostly lawyers.

Following calls for a strike by the Pakistan Bar Council and the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, legal professionals from all over the country are boycotting court proceedings to protest the bomb attack at a local hospital that killed and injured lawyers who were mourning the death of another colleague.

According to the Karachi-based English language daily newspaper The Express Tribune , lawyers and judges in the capital of Islamabad, and in provinces Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, adjourned court proceedings and demanded justice for the victims and arrests for perpetrators.

All legal proceedings were suspended at the Sindh High Court, which is seated in the provincial capital of Karachi, at the request of the Sindh High Court Bar Association, the newspaper reported . Proceedings were also halted at the Karachi City courts.

The Islamabad High Court Bar Association and the Islamabad District Bar Association also both announced a boycott of all court proceedings, the Express Tribune reported .

In Lahore, the capital of the eastern Pakistani province Punjab, and in Peshawar, the capital of the northern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, local bar associations also condemned the attacks and announced strikes.

The bombing happened on Monday morning at the Civil Hospital in Quetta, capital city of the southwestern province of Balochistan. A suicide bomb went off as dozens of lawyers gathered in the hospital mourning the death of Bilal Anwar Kasi, a lawyer who served as the president of the Balochistan Bar Association before being killed in a drive-by shooting earlier yesterday. The lawyers killed by the blast also include Baz Muhammad Kakar, a predecessor of Kasi’s as the president of the provincial bar association.

The Pakistan Bar Association is proposing a two-stage victim compensation scheme to the government, the Express Tribune reported . In the first stage, the payment proposed is about $19,130 (2 million Pakistani rupees) for the families of each lawyer killed, and $9,566 to each lawyer injured in the attack. The proposal also recommends a second stage in which an additional $47,830 would be paid to the families of each lawyer killed, and $23,900 to each lawyer injured in the attack.

Following the attack, both the Islamic State (ISIL) and a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to Al-Jazeera .

Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif , who had visited the victims at the hospital yesterday, said the attack in Quetta was an attempt to undermine security in the province, especially targeting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC project.

Balochistan is the largest province by area in Pakistan. While Quetta is located in the northern part of the province near Afghanistan, Balochistan also borders the Arabian Sea to the south and is envisioned as a key intersection of China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiatives—namely the inland-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the ocean-facing Maritime Silk Road. Chinese companies are planning multibillion-dollar-worth projects in the seaport city of Gwadar.

Email: azhang@alm.com