Senior Supreme Court advocate Advocate Abdul Razzaq Shah was shot dead by armed motorcyclists in a drive-by shooting on Quetta’s Airport Road on Tuesday, police said.
Confirming the incident, Jameel Shaheed Station House Officer (SHO) Gul Muhammad said Dawn.com Shah was on his way to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) when unidentified assailants on three motorcycles targeted him.
“According to eyewitnesses, he was traveling in a relative’s vehicle,” the officer said.
The lawyer was rushed to Quetta Civil Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on the way. Police Surgeon Ayesha Faiz said Dawn.com Shah was hit by 16 bullets in the attack.
“The body was not post-mortemed because of the insistence of the family,” she said, adding that the bullet wounds in his chest, neck and abdomen proved fatal.
SHO Muhammad added that the police have cordoned off the area where the attack took place and investigations are on to nab the accused.
Condemning the firing, Quetta Bar Association President Abid Kakar announced a three-day mourning period for Shah’s death along with a complete boycott of the BHC and lower courts.
Senior advocate Mir Ataullah Lango said that lawyer Shah had recently filed a petition in the court detailing threats to his life. He said his life was in danger and needed protection, but the government failed to provide him protection.
Lango said that if a person is a senior lawyer, there is a threat to life. “You deal with so many different cases, but you never know where the danger is coming from.”
The government blamed Imran
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Ataullah Tarar held PTI Chairman Imran Khan directly responsible for lawyer Shah’s murder.
He claimed that the targeted killing was related to the sedition case against Imran, which Tarar said would reach its conclusion in the next few hearings.
This was stated by a division bench of BHC comprising Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Muhammad Amir Nawaz Rana. heard Shah’s petition on June 29, demanding that the former Prime Minister be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution.
Lawyer Shah had demanded that Imran violate the Constitution by advising the President to dissolve the National Assembly and therefore be tried under Article 6.
After the preliminary hearing, the BHC bench issued notices to Additional Attorney General Rauf Atta and Deputy Attorney General Mohammad Naeem Qazi and directed them to reply in the next hearing on June 7 (tomorrow).
In a press conference in Islamabad today, SAPM alleged that “Imran killed the lawyer to save himself from the sedition case”.
It is unfortunate that Abdul Razzaq Shaar (…) was killed near Airport Road. Two masked motorcycle riders were involved,” he added.
Terming the killing of the lawyer as a “legal murder”, Tarar said lawyer Shaar was shot dead in broad daylight and promised a thorough investigation into the murder.
The PML-N leader said that Imran will be nominated in this murder case. “It (PTI) has become a terrorist organization … Imran cannot save himself in this case.
“You have to come and be present at every hearing and surrender if ordered by the court,” he asserted.
SAPM said it has directed the Balochistan government and law enforcement agencies to investigate the killing and will leave no stone unturned in the investigation.
PTI rejected Tarar’s allegations
PTI, on the other hand, rejected the baseless and baseless allegations leveled by SAPM Tarar against the party chairman and demanded that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Home Minister Rana Sanaullah be booked in the firing.
In a statement issued on Twitter, the party requested the Supreme Court to pay immediate attention to the incident and dismiss the false allegations against the former prime minister.
PTI’s newly appointed Information Secretary Rauf Hassan termed Tarar’s press conference as a heinous attempt to cover up the murder of a lawyer.