"What we should do now is the question that arises in these testing times."
The following is an excerpt from a letter written to the families of the deceased lawyers by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a Supreme Court judge and former chief justice of the Balohistan High Court.
I wouldn’t have tears enough to shed even if my eyes were waterfalls.
Many friends have been martyred and many are seriously injured. Initially sadness and grief rendered me helpless, then extreme anger washed over me, and then immense despair overwhelmed me.
But then I turned towards the Almighty and His words and directions cascaded over my heart...
The killing was carried out without remorse.
The murderers had no enmity with the victims. To implement their plan, the assailants chose a place of healing.
They did not distinguish between the old and the young, between faith and religion, between men and women. The defenders of the Constitution and law were targeted. Humanity was targeted.
To compare the murderers with animals is insulting to animals. Nor were the hearts of the killers like stones because from stones, springs too may burst forth.
Instead, hatred and despair constitute the killers' hearts. Hatred against humans, hatred against humanity, hatred against places of healing, hatred against officers of the law, hatred against citizens and the country, hatred against God’s creation and hatred against the Faith.
The murderers despair because they will always reside in hell. They despair because they hide their faces. They despair because without violence, guns and bombs their message of hate is not heard. They despair because the only prayer that leaves their mothers’ mouths is for them to confess and seek forgiveness.
What we should do now is the question that arises in these testing times. Should we transform our sadness and grief into anger and hatred? Should the blood of the martyrs only imprint our breasts with flagellation marks?
The injured and the martyred are and were the defenders of the Constitution and law.
They represented the downtrodden and those who had been unjustly dealt with. They assisted in the dispensation of justice. They occupy seats next to us filling our pens with their blood.
They now look to us in this hour of trial to see whether we too will be able to demonstrate comradeship, be able to love humanity and remain committed and devoted to the law.
And above all, whether we will be able to deliver justice even more effectively in these circumstances.
I pray to the Almighty to grant me, the heirs of the martyrs and their loved ones and the injured, patience; to fortify in us their love of learning and the law, to make their goal of providing justice a beacon for us.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa
Translated from Urdu
Header photo: Reuters