Condemn the target Killing of Aaqib Shahani, son of District & Session Judge, Jacobabad

Posted: February 20, 2014 in News and Views

STATEMENT

RightsNow Pakistan and Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum (SPLF) jointly condemn the target killing of Aaqib Shahani s/o of Khalid Shahani, District & Session Judge Jacobabad yesterday evening at Hyderabad club road. According to police, the deceased, son of session judge Khalid Hussain Shahani was travelling with his family when his vehicle was intercepted by unknown gunmen, who said to be unknown, forced Aaqib Hussain out of the vehicle and sprayed him with bullets before fleeing.

This is not the first time that the Judges, lawyers and other members of the legal fraternity are attacked in Pakistan. Before this incident, many judges’ houses were robbed at Hyderabad and other places. Judges of the Higher Judiciary were attacked. One of such examples is assassination attempt of Justice Maqabool Baqir, a judge of Sindh High Court (SHC), then, now Chief Justice of Sindh High Court. Attack on Justice Maqbool Baqir was the second bombing targeted the Pakistani judiciary in six months period. Yesterday’s attack and killing of son of a District and Session Judge Jacobabad in Hyderabad city where most of the time security arrangement are seen in routine brings the police’s capacity and efficiency in question and indicates that if the judges are not secure than a common man’s security is an elusive dream. This creates sense of insecurity in every citizen’s mind.  

Judges in Pakistan and everywhere deals with serious and sensitive cases, require strong security arrangements, through this incident, have received a message by the criminal and terrorist elements that they are at high risk. This attack on the son of District and Session Judge and attacks on other judges are attacks on the independence of judiciary and rule of law. We are extremely concerned that these attacks signal a renewed challenge to the ability of the police of Pakistan and pose a threat to judiciary to function as an independent institution.

We also feel sorry on the lack of sensitivity and indifference of both the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and the Government of Sindh and police department which despite the knowledge of existing threats to the judges, lawyers and other members of the legal fraternity, has been very slow in responding the dire security need of the judges. Police department and Government of Pakistan is ignoring the fact that in our country where small criminal gangs and extremist groups have been provided with arms, training, safe heaven by large organization commit international crimes have links to criminals and terrorist at national and local level. Government of Pakistan and Department of Police have failed to develop adequate policing capacity in any part of the country to ensure safety and security of judges, lawyers and other members of the legal fraternity.

We strongly recommend that the Government of Pakistan, Department of Police need to develop the appropriate strategy of sharing and proactive mechanism to prevent threats and attacks to judicial official and judges that now seems to occur on daily basis. We stand with Mr. Khalid Hussain Shahani, District & Session Judge, Jacobabad and his family, who have suffered an irreparable loss and also all the judges and justices who are working in a very volatile situation and taking high risks while performing their duties for dispensation of justice. We call for swift action by the Hyderabad police which is now under command of an experienced and honest police official/DIG Hyderabad for proper investigation of the matter and expect speedy arrest of the real culprits involved in the criminal act. We hope the deployment/posting of new DIG Hyderabad will introduce concrete security measures in Hyderabad region which will help increase the level of confidence of police in the new DIG and all other police and security officials will follow such example.

ADVOCATE Ali A. Palh 

President, Sindh Progressive Lawyers Forum (SPLF) & Chief Executive RightsNow Pakistan    

www.rightsnowpk.org

 

 

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