KARACHI: The legal fraternity on Thursday boycotted courts to mark the ninth anniversary of the May 12, 2007 mayhem and asked the government to constitute an inquiry commission to be headed by a Supreme Court judge to identify the culprits responsible for the killings.
Speaking at a press conference, Salahuddin Ahmed, vice chairman of the Sindh Bar Council, asked the federal government to establish an inquiry commission, headed by a judge of the apex court, and also comprising senior officers from law enforcement agencies to probe the May 12 tragedy.
He said the commission should inquire into the role and responsibility of any political party and activists, why some areas including courts premises and Sharea Faisal were cordoned off, but still became the scene of bloodshed. At the same time others areas, they said, including M. A. Jinnah Road, remained accessible and peaceful to the extent that a huge political rally was held there on the same day.
Mr Ahmed further said that the proposed commission should also identify the role of the then federal and provincial governments as well as civilian and non-civilian intelligence and law enforcement agencies whether by way of acts of commission or omission in allowing or failing to stop the unlawful acts and their failure to take necessary action against the culprits.
The city had witnessed one of the most terrifying incidents in recent history when around 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded across the city during May 12 riots when the then-deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry arrived at Karachi airport to attend a lawyers’ gathering. The former chief justice was forced to fly back to Islamabad after nine hours’ restricted stay at the airport.
On a country-wide call of the Pakistan Bar Council, the legal fraternity observed a “black day” to mark the ninth anniversary, boycotted the courts and held general body meetings.
The courts wore a deserted look and hundreds of cases fixed at city courts and district courts in Malir could not be taken up for hearing.
In Hyderabad, too, lawyers boycotted court proceedings. However, high court judges at the Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court did hear urgent applications in chambers.
The lawyers of Sukkur also boycotted court proceedings in remembrance of the May 12 mayhem.