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Gunmen attack Malik’s house

May 11, 2007

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KARACHI, May 10: The house of Munir A. Malik, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and a member of the panel of lawyers defending Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry in the Supreme Court, came under a gun attack early Thursday morning.

Mr Malik said he was watching television when at around 3am, he heard the sound of gunshots and soon realised that his house was under attack.

“My daughter escaped the attack by inches; she was working at a PC in the first floor lounge,” he said, adding that he immediately informed his friends as well as the media about the incident.

Police did arrive, he said, but “I did not let them in and waited for the media to come, but by then the policemen had gone”.

The façade of the house had marks of at least 20 bullet hits.

Two bullets penetrated through windowpanes to the lounge where Mr Malik’s daughter was working.

The attack was condemned all over the country and lawyers in some cities and towns went on a lightning strike and took out processions in protest against the attack.

One of the first persons to call on Mr Malik in the morning was Mr Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court.

Mr Malik, however, appeared least perturbed and talking to Dawn asserted that the Saturday rally of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in Karachi would go ahead as scheduled.

He said: “We cannot back off; it’s a revolution of the people led by the lawyers’ fraternity.”

When asked who might have been behind the attack, Mr Malik said: “At this moment, I don’t want to term this an attack on myself, thus sidetracking the real cause for which we are fighting.”

Describing the present situation as the ‘defining moment’, he said that earlier it had been thought that Pervez Musharraf could not be challenged, “but it happened and we did it”.

People became aware of the importance of independence of the judiciary. Moreover, this crisis has unified the federation, Mr Malik remarked.

Clifton’s Town Police Officer Azad Khan told Dawn: “Mr Munir Malik informed the police helpline at about 3:26am about firing at his house. Police rushed to the place and saw bullet marks at the house.”

However, he said, there was no eyewitness account about the attackers.

“We have colleted 19 empty bullets of AK-47 rifle from the spot” the officer said.

He said that a case pertaining to a murder attempt had been registered at the Darakshan police station on a written complaint of Mr Malik.