Islamabad - On the call of Pakistan Bar Council, the lawyers community from all over the country yesterday gathered in front of Parliament House building to protest the killing of lawyers in the Quetta blast.

The lawyers demanded the arrest of persons involved in the killing of lawyers and innocent people at the Civil Hospital, Quetta. A total of over 70 persons, mostly lawyers, died and over 80 people got injured on August 8 blast in Quetta.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Barrister Ali Zafar displayed the photo of alleged suicide bomber before the media. He said they had given one month time to the government, which would end on September 8.

He said if by that time the culprits are not apprehended then they will be compelled to launch second phase of their movement. He displayed alleged suicide attacker’s photo before the media, saying that the SP Quetta had given them this picture.

Vice-Chairman Dr Farogh Naseem said that with the killings of lawyers in Quetta, the process of justice is halted in Balochistan, adding the professional and educated people are being killed. He said no progress has been made to trace out the culprit and facilitators of this barbaric attack. Though the compensation for lawyers was announced, the victim families have not been paid.

Barrister Farogh said they had demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the incident, but so far the apex court had not taken the notice.

Around 400 lawyers, mostly young, held protest, but the show seemed disunited. The lawyers seemed divided in groups. Even the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Bar Association leaders were standing separately.

One section of lawyers was saying that the protest has been managed by the security agencies as their leadership has remained silent over the failure of military establishment in Balochistan.

The event was not arranged properly as instead of proper sound system, mega phone was used for making speeches. Four to five lawyers constantly chanted slogan “friend of Modi is a traitor,” while other lawyers shouted “lawyers’ blood will not go waste.”

Pakistan Peoples’ Party Senator and former President SCBA Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq came from the Parliament to join the demonstrators.

The Peoples Lawyers Forum did not permit Siraj-ul-Haq to address the gathering. They chanted that they don’t need politics there.

The SCBA President Ali Zafar and former chief of the Association Asma Jehangir took different lines, though they are from the same group, while condemning the tragic incident at Quetta. Ali Zafar’s target was the federal and provincial governments and he defended the security agencies. On the other hand Asma termed the Quetta blast as the failure of the security agencies.

President Balochistan High Court Bar Association Abdul Ghani Khilji in his speech said they have nothing to do with Modi, adding in Pakistan eight agencies are operating and if such incidents take place repeatedly then questions are raised on their performance. He also criticised the judiciary, saying the Chief Justice of Pakistan took suo moto notice on the kidnapping of chief justice Sindh High Court’s son, but in Quetta explosion, no notice has been taken yet.

Meanwhile, talking to media men, Aitzaz admitted that there is split among legal community but he claimed that split is good omen for intensifying the pressure on the government for the arrest of culprits.