Shia lawyer killed in targeted attack
By: Riaz Ahmad
PESHAWAR: The former vice chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) provincial chapter and a prominent lawyer belonging to a Shia family, Malik Jarar Hussain was gunned down in what appeared to be a targeted attack on Gulbahar Road Friday morning.
Hussain was on his way to drop his children to school when two motorcyclists intercepted his car, opened fire at him and escaped. He died on the way to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH). Hussain, originally a resident of Gunj, was residing in Asad Anwar Colony, Gulbahar.
The Imamia jirga public relations secretary and general secretary of the Muharram Committee, Muzafar Akhunzada said Shias were soft targets for militants and violence against them had continued unabated. “What if Shias started responding in the same manner, an eye for an eye? There would only be bloodshed in this city and country,” said Akhunzada.
Shias do not want more bloodshed and lawlessness in Pakistan, which is why they are not responding in the same manner, he added, and lashed out at the provincial government and police for failing to protect them.
“We have rejected an invitation to meet the chief minister because it would only benefit the police and serve as a face saving measure. Our Imamia Jirga condemns these target and sectarian killings across the country and we demand a judicial inquiry into these cases.”
HRCP also issued a statement condemning the attack and expressed condolences to the bereaved family. “HRCP condemns Malik Jarar’s killing in the strongest words and condoles the family for their loss. Our heart goes out to his children in particular who he was going to drop at school when the armed men shot and killed him.”
The statement issued by HRCP’s chairperson Zohra Yusuf praised the lawyer’s character and undying will to lobby for human rights. “As HRCP grieves the loss of a fearless human rights defender and a fine gentleman, it calls upon the government to take measures to guarantee safety of human rights defenders and indeed all citizens.”