QUETTA / ISLAMABAD: Senior Supreme Court lawyer, Abdul Raazaq Shar, was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Alamo Chowk on Airport Road on Tuesday.

Police said that the deceased was on his way to the high court when his vehicle came under attack by unknown men armed with automatic weapons. The lawyer received 15 bullet injuries on his body and died on the spot. The body was moved to the district hospital for medico-legal formalities.

“The slain advocate received 15 bullets on different parts of his body which caused his death,” a senior police officer said. An FIR is yet to be registered, though the police are clueless about the motive behind the killing.

Police officials, including DIG Quetta, remained unavailable for comment despite attempts to reach them. Some of the colleagues of the slain advocate, however, claimed that the lawyer might have been killed as a result of a “family feud”.

Lawyers’ bodies boycotted court proceedings across the province and announced three days of mourning.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo condemned the killing. The provincial government directed the additional chief secretary and the Inspector General Police to submit a report about the incident.

It may be recalled that Mr Shar had filed a constitutional petition against PTI chief Imran Khan in the Balochistan High Court, seeking proceedings against the former premier under Article 6 that pertained to high treason.

His petition said that Imran Khan should be tried under Article 6 in light of the apex court decision which had recommended legal action against Imran Khan and Qasim Suri for illegally dissolving the National Assembly after the joint opposition had moved a no-trust motion against the PTI government in April 2022. The petition had been fixed for June 7 (today) for further hearing.

Blame game between govt, PTI

The murder of the lawyer before a hearing of the high treason petition prompted a blame game between the government and the PTI, with both sides accusing each other of having a role in the killing of the advocate.

After PM’s aide Attaullah Tarar alleged in a press conference that the lawyer was killed at the behest of Imran Khan to allegedly evade accountability in the treason case, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan accused PM Shehbaz and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of being behind the murder and sought their resignations, as well as a transparent probe.

The PTI also urged the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the murder of the lawyer and termed the government official’s presser an attempt to implicate Mr Khan in another fake case.

Reacting to Mr Tarar’s press conference, he said that the PTI requested the apex court to take immediate notice of the attempt to implicate PTI Chairman Imran Khan in another case. He claimed that the killing of Mr Shar was a continuation of the unconstitutional and illegal campaign to crush the PTI.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2023

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