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54 voices: What we lost in the Quetta carnage

Who were the lawyers who died demanding justice for one of their own?
Updated Feb 22, 2017 01:40pm

Black coats and blood. That is all one could make out through the dust and smoke outside Quetta Civil Hospital on that gruesome August 8 morning.

As the news of the targeted killing of senior lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi spread, the city’s enraged lawyers reached the hospital emergency ward to stage a protest. Just two months earlier, another senior lawyer and academic had been gunned down. They had had enough.

But fate played an even crueler trick. As the crowd of lawyers thickened, a suicide bomber walked into their midst and detonated lethal explosives.

Voiceover: Barkhurdar Khan

“It will take us five years just to realise what we have lost,” Barkhurdar Khan, a Quetta-based lawyer tells Dawn.

From the total death toll of at least 70, 54 individuals were from the legal community. We take a closer look at the lives of these lawyers — activists, husbands, fathers and sons.

Advocate Bilal Anwar Kasi
Over 20 years into practice

Bilal Anwar Kasi was serving president of the Balochistan Bar Association when he was fatally shot by gunmen on Quetta’s Mano Jan road. Doctors said Advocate Kasi’s body was riddled with 10 bullets. It was his killing that prompted lawyers to gather at the Civil Hospital Quetta’s emergency ward, where a suicide attack took their lives as well.

In total, seven members from the Kasi tribe were killed in the blast that shook Balochistan’s capital.

An expert in criminal law cases, Advocate Kasi was 46 years old.

Advocate Baz Muhammad Kakar
Over 20 years into practice

Baz Muhammad Kakar was a former president of the Balochistan Bar Association.

Advocate Kakar played an important role in the lawyers’ movement in Balochistan and was arrested in 2007 after the Musharraf regime declared emergency in the country.

He remained an activist and campaigned for rule of law in Pakistan.

His son Aryan Khan Kakar tells Dawn that, “my father used to love me and I loved him too. Like my father, I also want to become a bold lawyer.”

Advocate Kakar did his LLB from Law College, Quetta and also pursued a postgraduate degree in Physics from the University of Balochistan.

He was 45 years old.

Advocate Chakar Rind
11 years into practice

Hailing from Turbat in Balochistan’s Kech District, Chakar Rind, 38, obtained his LLB and Masters in Sociology from Law College, Quetta. Advocate Rind was an active political worker and a member of the Baloch Students Organisation’s central committee.

"His aim was to serve his people and provide a helping hand to anyone in need. This is why he chose law as profession,” recalls his brother Chakar Baloch.

“I feel proud to be the brother of someone who spent his life living for others and who found happiness in helping them.”

Advocate Qahir Shah
22 years into practice

Qahir Shah’s summary for the slot of Advocate General Balochistan was signed just two days before he was killed. It is no surprise that he was considered for the post; the legal fraternity of Quetta says he was an outspoken and competent lawyer.

Advocate Shah was a graduate of Law College, Quetta and served as legal adviser to the Quetta Municipal Corporation.

He was 48 years old.

Advocate Adnan Kasi
10 years into practice

A young barrister, Adnan Kasi had been practising the trade for more than a decade. He did his bar-at-law from the University of Buckingham, England, and served as the principal of Law College, Quetta during the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government in Balochistan.

Prior to his death, Barrister Kasi was campaigning for the post of general secretary in the upcoming election of the Balochistan High Court Bar Association. He was 38 years old.

Advocate Dawood Kasi
16 years into practice

A dynamic lawyer, Advocate Kasi was a passionate campaigner for the rule of law in the country. He took active part in the movement for the restoration of judges and former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

A graduate in LLB from Law College, Quetta, he was elected president of the Balochistan Bar Association in 2014.

He was 40 years of age.

Advocate Gul Zareen Kasi
4 years into practice

Gul Zareen Kasi believed in forming a fair juvenile justice system in Pakistan and worked with child protection agencies Sanjog and the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child.

He was also a member of the American Bar Council, where he held moot courts and occasionally attended events as chief guest.

"Gul Zareen was always smiling,” recalls Sajid Tareen, former president of the Balochostan High Court Bar Association. “His personality is unforgettable.”

He was 34 years old.

Advocate Askar Khan Achakzai
7 years into practice

At 32 years of age, Askar Khan Achakzai was already one of Quetta’s most dynamic lawyers.

Advocate Achakzai was affiliated with the Awami National Party (ANP) and was the younger brother of Asghar Khan Achakzai, the president of ANP Balochistan.

"He was a great friend and brother,” Asghar says.

“He always stood for political principles and challenged established perceptions.”

Advocate Sangat Jamaldini
16 years into practice

Sangat Jamaldini was candidate for finance secretary for the upcoming elections at the Balochistan High Court Bar Association.

“Sangat wanted to be a session judge and dispense justice without discrimination,” says his cousin Sardarzad Shehzad Mengal. “He used to tell me there are many flaws in our justice system, and that when he becomes a judge, he would make sure that he worked to strengthen the judiciary.”

His cousin remembers Advocate Jamaldini as a self-made lawyer: “Though his father was a senator, he never used his father’s car. He waited to buy his own.”

He was 35 years old.

Advocate Jamal Abdul Naseer
12 years into practice

Jamal Abdul Naseer, 42, was an active member of the legal fraternity in its struggle for the restoration of deposed judges.

Before his life was cut short, Advocate Naseer was campaigning for the establishment of a professional lawyers’ forum in Quetta.

"I cannot forget Jamal's smiling face", says senior lawyer Advocate Munir Ahmed Kakar.

“Jamal was my friend and colleague. I am going to miss him very much.”

Advocate Qazi Bashir
19 years into practice

Qazi Bashir completed his LLB from Law College, Quetta. He was also an active political worker and secretary at the lawyers’ wing of the National Party.

Advocate Bashir’s wife is an assistant professor at a girls’ college in Quetta. The couple strongly believed in providing the best available education for their children.

“Qazi was a great person,” says National Party’s Dr Ishaq Baloch. “He was an asset for the entire Baloch nation.”

He was 46 years old.

Advocate Ghulam Muhammad
5 years into practice

Ghulam Muhammad, 32, graduated from Sibi Law College in 2011 and went on to do his Masters in Commerce from the University of Balochistan.

Advocate Muhammad worked hard for his family. Despite financial constraints, he enrolled all of his six children into English medium schools.

His elder son Muhammad Naeem, in fourth grade, vows to complete his education.

Advocate Jamil ur Rehman Qazi
11 years into practice

Jamil ur Rehman Qazi moved recently to Quetta in search for a safer base for his family, after he was seriously injured in Khuzdar in 2013 when gunmen opened fire on him, hitting three bullets in his leg.

"Can you imagine our misfortune? We migrated from Khuzdar for protection but we lost our beloved son here in Quetta," says his father Qazi Abdul Hameed.

Advocate Qazi was 40 years old.

Advocate Malik Wazeer Kasi
9 years into practice

An energetic lawyer, Malik Wazeer Kasi had the spirit of an activist and took part in the movement for the restoration of deposed judges during the Musharraf regime.

Advocate Kasi was 37 years old.

Advocate Qaiser Sherani Khan
4 years into practice

Qaiser Sherani Khan belonged to Sherani district, one of the most underdeveloped areas of Balochistan.

He obtained his LLB from Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan.

"Qaiser was a humble and competent lawyer," recalls his relative Akhtar Shah Sherani, who also serves as Qazi in Balochistan’s Dasht area.

Advocate Khan was 30 years old.

Advocate Muhammad Imran Sheikh
5 years into practice

Muhammad Imran Sheikh did his LLM and LLB for Law College, Quetta.

Colleague Akram Shah remembers Advocate Sheikh as a committed and hard working man.

“In a short time, Imran made a good name for himself in the legal fraternity.”

He was 31 years old.

Advocate Rehmat Kharotai
6 years into practice

Rehmat Kharotai graduated from Law College, Quetta. He also earned a Masters degree in international relations from the University of Balochistan.

“Kharotai was an extremely competent lawyer,” says Khalil Ahmed Panezai, a senior lawyer who worked with him.

He was 32 years old.

Advocate Mir Mehmood Ahmed Lehri
10 years into practice

Mir Mehmood Ahmed Lehri was a graduate of Law College, Quetta and also held a Masters degree in international relations.

Advocate Lehri was 43 years old.

Advocate Muhammad Saleem Butt
29 years into practice

Muhammad Saleem Butt did his LLB from Law College, Quetta and Master in political science from the University of Balochistan.

Apart from practising law, Advocate Butt was also die-hard PP worker.

He was 54 years old.

Advocate Bashir Ahmed Zehri
14 years into practice

Bashir Ahmed Zehri earned his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

“He was a philanthropist and fought cases for voiceless clients without charging any fee,” recalls Advocate Zehri’s relative Ejaz Ahmed.

He was 50 years old.

Advocate Syed Ghani Jan Agha
16 years into practice

Syed Ghani Jan Agha belonged to Killi Paizai Syedan area of Killa Abdullah and completed his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

Advocate Agha had a strong political vision and was an executive member of the Pashtoonkhwa Students Organisation for more than 10 years.

“I cannot forget his face. He was my friend and brother. A lovely soul,” says lawyer and friend Zafar Mullazai.

He was 52 years old.

Advocate Naseer Langove
5 years into practice

Naseer Langove did his LLB from Law College, Quetta. After becoming a member of the Balochistan Bar Association, Advocate Langove quickly earned a reputation of being a dynamic lawyer.

He was 32 years old.

Advocate Muhibullah
10 years into practice

Muhibullah was a graduate of Law College, Quetta.

His colleague Khalil Panezai describes Advocate Muhibullah as a dedicated and hard working lawyer.

He was 39 years old.

Advocate Nooruddin Rakhshani
15 years into practice

Nooruddin Rakhshani was an active member of the lawyers’ movement and an advocate for rule of law.

He was 45 years old.

Advocate Manzar Siddique
19 years into practice

Manzar Siddique, 46, is remembered by his colleagues as a humble and supportive lawyer who spoke for the marginalised sections of society.

Advocate Noorullah Kakar
16 years into practice

Noorullah Kakar was a graduate of Law College, Quetta and a member of the Balochistan Bar Association. Advocate Kakar was originally from Pishin.

He was 39 years old.

Advocate Munir Ahmed Mengal
11 years into practice

Munir Ahmed Mengal is remembered by his colleagues as a compassionate soul who worked for the marginalised.

He was 46 years old.

Advocate Naqeebullah Tareen
1 year into practice

Naqeebullah Tareen is remembered by his colleagues as a “thorough gentleman”.

He was 31 years old.

Advocate Muhammad Ayub Sadozai
17 years into practice

Muhammad Ayub Sadozai served as an additional session judge in Gwadar.

Advocate Sadozai then returned to Quetta, where he worked as a lawyer.

He was 44 years old.

Advocate Attaullah Kakar
12 years into practice

Attaullah Kakar was an active member of the Balochistan Bar Association and a powerful voice in favour of strengthening judicial institutions.

40 years of age, Advocate Kakar completed his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

Advocate Hafeezullah Mengal
3 years into practice

Hafeezullah Mengal was son of former Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mengal. He was 36 years old.

Advocate Hafeezullah Khan Mandokhail
Under a year into practice

Hafeezullah Khan Mandokhail was a graduate of Law College, Quetta.

He was 32 years old and full of dreams about his life as a lawyer.

Advocate Ghani Mashwani
14 years into practice

Ghani Mashwani was a graduate of Law College, Quetta and was mentored by respected lawyer Muhammad Aslam Chishti.

Advocate Ghani was 44 years old.

Advocate Muhammad Ashraf Sulehri
16 years into practice

Aside from being a lawyer, Muhammad Ashraf Sulehri was also a well-known artist in Quetta.

"Sulehri was an asset for Balochistan and Pakistan," says artist Amanullah Nasar.

Advocate Sulehri was 56 years old.

Advocate Bashir Ahmed Kakar
8 years into practice

33 years of age, Bashir Ahmed Kakar did his LLB degree from Law College, Quetta.

Advocate Kakar belonged to Balochistan's Pishin district. "Bashir was indeed a voice for the voiceless,” said his uncle Haji Mauladad Kakar.

“We are socially and politically broken after Bashir's death.”

Advocate Ainuddin Nasar
10 years into practice

Ainuddin Nasar graduated from Law College, Quetta. He was a well-liked figure in the lawyer community for his jovial personality.

He was 42 years old.

Syed Ziauddin
2 years into practice

Syed Ziauddin belonged to Balochistan’s Pishin district. He did his LLB from the International Islamic University, Islamabad.

He was 26 years of age.

Advocate Ghulam Haider Kakar
2 months into practice

Ghulam Haider Kakar hailed from Balochistan’s Killa Saifullah district. Advocate Kakar did his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

He was 37 years old.

Advocate Aimal Khan Watanyar
1 year into practice

Aimal Khan Watanyar did his LLB from the Islamic International University, Islamabad.

He was only 23 years old.

Advocate Abdullah Achakzai
4 years into practice

Abdullah Achakzai was 39 years of age and a supporter of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (N).

Advocate Muhammad Ali Satakzai
16 years into practice

Muhammad Ali Satakzai, 45, was a session judge in Quetta.

Advocate Sarfaraz Sheikh
11 years into practice

Sarfaraz Sheikh was a graduate of Law College, Quetta.

He was 42 years old.

Advocate Abdul Nasir Kakar
13 years into practice

Abdul Nasir Kakar earned his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

He was 43 years old.

Advocate Waqas Khan Jadoon
4 years into practice

Waqas Khan Jadoon was a graduate of Law College, Quetta.

He was 31 years old.

Advocate Taimoor Shah Kakar
1 year into practice

Taimoor Shah Kakar was 29 years old.

Advocate Arthur Victor
14 years into practice

Arthur Victor was 39 years of age.

Advocate Sher Gul Davi
4 years into practice

Sher Gul Davi obtained his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

He was 29 years old.

Advocate Feroz Khan
17 years into practice

Feroz Khan was 44 years of age and started practising law in Quetta in 1999.

Advocate Sabir Ali
2 years into practice

Sabir Ali was 29 years old.

Advocate Ghulam Farooq Badini
3 years into practice

Ghulam Farooq Badini was 35 years of age.

Advocate Amanullah Langove
13 years into practice

Amanullah Langove was 30 years old.

Advocate Faizullah Khan Sargarah
28 years into practice

Faizullah Khan Sargarah earned his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

He was 62 years old.

Advocate Ghousuddin
13 years into practice

Ghousuddin was 41 years old.

Advocate Abdul Rashid
26 years into practice

Abdul Rashid did his LLB from Law College, Quetta.

He was 48 years old.


Project director: Atika Rehman

Reporting: Syed Ali Shah

Story editing: Jahanzeb Hussain, Munnazzah Raza, Hufsa Chaudhry, Hajrah Mumtaz, Fatema Imani and Fahad Naveed

Design and concept: Fahad Naveed

Additional research: Aiman Hashmi

Additional reporting: Shah Meer

Video: Hafeezullah Sherani

Video editing: Aamir Baig, Kamran Nafees and Hussain Afzal

Photos: AFP | Lawyers’ photos courtesy their families

Social media: Ema Anis

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