Renowned pro-democracy lawyer Latif Afridi was assassinated within the Peshawar High Court (PHC) premises on Monday, as political parties and civil society condemned the heinous act with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman saying that the provincial government was opting for resignation after pushing the province into fire.
Afridi – a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association who was known was his progressive views – suffered multiple bullet wounds. He was rushed to the Lady Reading Hospital immediately after the incident where he succumbed to his injuries during medical treatment, the facility’s spokesperson said.
Police say Afridi was sitting with other lawyers in the PHC bar room when a gunman opened fire at him, adding that the accused – identified him as Adnan Afridi – had been arrested. A small weapon, an identity card and a student card were also recovered from the attacker, they informed media.
The barbaric act is even more serious as the PHC bar room is located inside the high court premises. Tight security is regularly deployed at the entrance and people are only allowed to enter upon showing their identity cards.
In its reaction, the Peshawar High Court Bar Association termed the incident a security lapse and questioned how a man with a weapon managed to reach the bar room.
Shehbaz worried by law and order situation in KP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow and grief over the brutal killing of the senior lawyer and said the worsening law and order situation was Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is alarming. He asked the provincial government to take immediate measures to address the situation.
Staunch opponent of extremism
Former president Asif Ali Zardari condemned the murder of Afridi and said he was a strong supporter of democracy and a staunch opponent of extremism.
It’s provincial govt’s failure
Fazl said the assassination was a failure of the provincial government and demanded to bring the culprits to justice.
Voice of people
Former SBCA president Ahsan Bhoon expressed shock at the murder and said Afridi had always raised his voice for people deprived of rights.
“He was a part of the students union in his young days and later he joined the ANP,” Bhoon said, adding that the slain lawyer had also suffered tough times during martial law in ex-dictator Ayub Khan’s tenure.
Bhoon said Afridi was a strong advocate of democracy. “He resisted all anti-democratic forces throughout his life.”
Reaction from all walks of life
People from all walks of life described Afridi as a champion of human and political rights, as they questions how the attack was carried out inside the high court bar and asked who was responsible for the attack on the senior lawyer.
They also noted that the killing was also shameful act for those who claim that the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are normal.
It’s developing story. Details to follow