KARACHI: The legal fraternity on Tuesday demanded a fair and transparent investigation into lawlessness and the killing of more than 50 people on May 12, 2007, the chaos and the role of law enforcement agencies due to the failure to bring the perpetrators to justice. The charges came by the Sindh Bar Council, the Sindh High Court Association and the attorneys’ association leaders in their statements and meetings held to remember the May 12 chaos.
Deputy Chairman of the Sindh Council Syed Haider Imam Rizvi, SHCBA President Ziaul Haq Makhdoom, Secretary Haseeb Jamali and others said that May 12, 2007 would be remembered as a black day because more than 50 people were killed in the streets of Karachi to stop former Iftikhar Chief Justice Mohammad Chaudhry from attend a reception organized by the High Court Association. They say that despite the killing of innocent citizens, the president and military chief General Pervez Musharaf called it a manifestation of the power of the people.
They say that nearly 13 years have passed but there has not been any concrete action by any state organ, including the judiciary, to conduct a proper investigation of the horrific crimes against humanity and to arrest and punish the perpetrators of these crimes. They questioned that in spite of the Rangers targeted operation against the terrorist outfits and militant wings of political parties, people asked why the perpetrators and facilitators of the May 12 chaos were released from responsibility.
They are of the view that if criminals involved in the May 12 chaos have been convicted, the lives of thousands of citizens could be rescued who have been victims of lawlessness over the past few years after 2007 only because there is no penalty against the May 12 riots. They say that either the May 12 chaos will not be forgotten or will be allowed to be forgotten.
They demanded the government and the judiciary order new investigations into the May 12 chaos and identify those responsible whether through commissions or negligence for the killings of the high court and Karachi district court, for attacking lawyers and the media and for allowing perpetrators and facilitators to escape yourself without injury.
The SHCBA, in its executive committee meeting, paid homage to the May 12 mess martyrs. The SHCBA demands that all those responsible for getting Karachi citizens be taken hostage and killed more than 50 innocent people, including Pervez Akthtar Kiyani, a lawyer, must be openly tried. The association also demanded compensation for families of lawyers who disappeared from the provincial and federal governments immediately.
SHC lawyers observe black days and boycott the court proceedings over the summons of the SBC and lawyers’ association. The court works because of a strike by lawyers and judges hearing urgent cases in their rooms.
It is important to mention that the SHC on September 12, 2018 has ordered the Sindh government to form an inquiry court headed by a high court or retired court judge to investigate the May 12, 2007 incident of violence that occurred more than a decade ago.
The SHC, which also frames 13 reference points for investigations, observed that the court must complete the investigation within three months. The court has expressed dissatisfaction with the criminal process against the May 12 criminals by the provincial government.
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