'Shameful': Legal fraternity condemns violent protest by lawyers in Lahore

Published December 11, 2019
Lawyers protest outside PIC in Lahore on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
Lawyers protest outside PIC in Lahore on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

As the protest by lawyers outside Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) on Wednesday took an ugly turn, members of the legal fraternity slammed those protesters who resorted to violence.

PPP leader and senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan, while talking to the media, said that the violence was "shameful and should be condemned".

"Many of them will be candidates for the January election coming up. They want to become prominent. These people should not be allowed to even contest the elections. These lawyers are destroying the reputation of all lawyers. My head is bowed with shame," he said.

"They have attacked a hospital. For black coats to break the glasses and enter wards — this should never happen. Everyone who took part in this should not be voted for."

Some members of the legal fraternity took to Twitter to express their concern and called for action to be taken against the lawyers for attacking a hospital.

Lawyer Babar Sattar called the violence "abhorrent" and pointed out that "it isn't the first such incident". He said that the bar leaders should call for the cancellation of the licences of the lawyers involved.

"Time for us to show allegiance to rule of law and not tribalism," he tweeted.

Barrister Asad Rahim Khan said hospitals are untouchable "even in war".

"Lawyers who support attacking a cardiac centre should be disbarred. And lawyers who partake in the violence – attacking patients, disrupting heart surgery, letting people die – should be in jail. There is no other angle to view this from."

Taimur Malik, a prominent lawyer, said that the legal fraternity "need(s) to speak up today and condemn the criminal actions of those who targeted PIC".

Lahore-based lawyer Feisal H. Naqvi called the incident "horrible beyond words".

"Attacking a hospital, causing people to die, thrashing a minister [...] These are not lawyers. These are thugs."

Citizens condemn attack

Journalist Khurram Husain said he was "speechless at the sight of the ransacking" of the hospital, pointing out that the intensive care unit had been emptied due to the protest.

"Those who have held bedside vigil for a patient in a cardiac ICU know what it means to have to flee the ward in these circumstances. Even animals are better behaved."

Ali Salman Alvi said there should have been "ruthless police action" against the lawyers who held the PIC under siege.

Rimmel Mohydin, the regional campaigner for Amnesty International South Asia, pointed out that if "@PunjabSafe cameras can be used to identify students from the solidarity march, to harass, intimidate and arrest them - perhaps use these tools to catch actual criminals here?"

Journalist Mohammad Malick said the lawyers "must be made to pay for their crimes".

"One poor woman has already lost her life cause doctors ran away in fear of their lives," Malick lamented.

Journalist Bilal Farooqi, sharing a video of lawyers trying to enter the hospital premises, noted: "About time that we stop calling anyone with a professional degree in Pakistan 'Parha Likha' or educated and learned. Our educational system doesn't impart basic human values, only teaches us to earn money. These lawyers have proved that with their shameful attack on a hospital."

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro said an anti-terrorism case should be registered against the protesters. "This is culpable homicide."

Lawyer and columnist Saad Rasool called "the barbarianism" of lawyers today "disgraceful". "Every member of the legal fraternity should hang his/her head in shame."

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