Pakistani lawyers go on nationwide strike

Pakistani lawyers go on nationwide strike

Islamabad, Dec 13: Lawyers across Pakistan boycotted courts on Friday to protest against the registration of cases against advocates who were arrested for their involvement in the rampage at Lahore’s Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) earlier this week.

The legal bodies, who called for Friday’s strike, have demanded for the “immediate release” of those arrested, reports Dawn news.

The lawyers were responding to a strike call by the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

A notification issued by the PBC on Thursday said the protest was “against partial and biased conduct of the local police and the administration of Lahore against the lawyers as well as action taken by the Islamabad High Court against the Secretary-General, Islamabad High Court Bar Association”.

The lawyers’ joint action committee formed on the matter said that lawyers would not appear in courts on Friday.

They claimed that the arrested lawyers were tortured by police and demanded their immediate release.

On Wednesday, lawyers had staged a violent protest at the PIC apparently on a mission to avenge a group of lawyers, who had been beaten up at the PIC a few weeks ago, soon after some video clips went viral on social media.

The incident resulted in three deaths as the condition of some critical patients deteriorated in the absence of doctors after the lawyers barged into the hospital and damaged equipment and broke windows and doors.

In the aftermath of the attack, police arrested 81 protesters.

On Thursday, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore sent over 46 of them on judicial remand while turning down a police request for their physical remand to investigate char­ges of attacking the PIC.

The police had lodged two FIRs against 200-250 lawyers.