Lawyers observe countrywide strike against Quetta blast
ISLAMABAD –Lawyers observed a countrywide strike on Tuesday after dozens of colleagues were slain in a suicide bombing that killed at least 74 people at Civil Hospital in Quetta.
Medical staff said that up to 60 of those slain in the bombing were lawyers who had gathered to mourn the assassination earlier on Monday of the president of the Balochistan Bar Association Bilal Anwar Kasi.
Islamic State was one of two Islamist militant groups to claim responsibility for the atrocity, although officials and analysts said they had doubts over whether the Middle East-based movement was behind the blast.
“How weak and pathetic are these people who target hospitals, where women and children, where patients, go to get treatment?” Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Pakistan’s attorney general, said on Tuesday at a protest outside the Supreme Court in the capital Islamabad.
Supreme Court Bar President Ali Zafar called for the government to do more to protect lawyers. “Lawyers are relatively more vocal against militancy and they are fighting cases against people accused of terrorism, so it would make sense that they are being targeted,” said Ali Malik, a Lahore-based lawyer. “An attack on lawyers makes a mockery of the law enforcement agencies, it undermines the promises of the state against terrorists and breeds fear among vulnerable citizens.” –Reuters