Senior Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Abdul Razzaq Shar was shot dead by armed motorcyclists in a drive-by shooting on Quetta’s Airport Road on Tuesday, police said.
Jamil Shaheed Station House Officer (SHO) Gul Muhammad, while confirming the incident, told Dawn.com that Shar was on his way to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) when he was targetted by unidentified persons on three motorcycles.
“According to eyewitnesses, he was travelling in his relative’s vehicle,” the official said.
The lawyer was immediately rushed to the Quetta Civil Hospital, however, he succumbed to his injuries on the way. Police Surgeon Ayesha Faiz told Dawn.com that Shar sustained 16 bullets in the attack.
“A post-mortem examination of his body was not carried out due to the family’s insistence,” she said, adding that the bullets Shar sustained on his chest, neck and stomach proved to be fatal.
SHO Muhammad added that the police had cordoned off the attack site and an investigation was under way to arrest the suspects.
Condemning the shooting, Quetta Bar Association President Abid Kakar announced a complete boycott of the BHC and lower courts along with a three-day mourning period over Shar’s death.
Senior lawyer Mir Ataullah Lango said Advocate Shar had recently filed a petition in the court detailing the threats to his life. “He said his life was in danger and needed protection but the government failed to provide him protection.”
Lango maintained that a threat to life was always present if a person was a senior lawyer. “You handle many different cases but cannot know where the danger is from.”
Govt pins blame on Imran
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Ataullah Tarar held PTI Chairman Imran Khan “directly responsible” for the murder of Advocate Shar.
He claimed that the targeted killing was related to a treason case against Imran, which Tarar said was reaching its conclusion in the next few hearings.
A division bench of the BHC, comprising Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Muhammad Amir Nawaz Rana, had heard Shar’s petition on June 29 seeking the former prime minister’s trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Advocate Shar had pleaded that Imran had violated the Constitution by advising the president to dissolve the National Assembly, and thus, should be tried under Article 6.
The BHC bench, after the initial hearing, had issued notices to Additional Attorney General Rauf Atta and Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Naeem Kasi and directed them to submit a reply on the next hearing scheduled for June 7 (tomorrow).
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad today, the SAPM alleged that Imran “got the lawyer killed to protect himself from the treason case”.
“It’s unfortunate that Abdul Razzaq Shar […] was killed near the airport road. Two motorcycle riders whose faces were hidden were involved,” he added.
Terming the lawyer’s killing the “murder of the law”, Tarar lamented that Advocate Shar was gunned down in broad daylight and promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder.
“Imran will be nominated in this murder case,” the PML-N leader said. “It (the PTI) has become a militant and terrorist outfit … Imran won’t be able to save himself in this case.
“You will have to come and attend every hearing and also surrender if ordered by the court,” he asserted.
The SAPM further said that the Balochistan government and law enforcement agencies had been directed to probe the killing and leave no stone unturned in the investigation.
PTI rejects Tarar’s allegations
On the other hand, the PTI rejected the “baseless and futile allegations” made by SAPM Tarar against the party chairman and demanded that a case be filed against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for the shooting.
In a statement released on Twitter, the party also requested the Supreme Court to take immediate notice of the incident and dismiss the false accusations levelled against a former premier.
Separately, PTI’s newly-appointed Information Secretary Raoof Hasan termed Tarar’s press conference a “heinous attempt to conceal the murder of a lawyer”.