Unfortunate incident

UNKNOWN gunmen opened fire at the residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan in Lahore’s Model Town in two separate incidents only hours apart. No casualties were reported in the attacks, one of which took place around 10:45 pm on Saturday and the other at 9:10 am on Sunday.
Attack on any judge was most reprehensible but the one at the residence of Justice Ijazul Ahsan assumed more sensitive dimensions as he was one of the judge who delivered the verdict in Panama Papers leading to disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and is also overseeing NAB references against Sharif family in the Accountability Court of Islamabad. It was because of this that the opposition is relating the incident to the case and trying to take political mileage out of it. This is despite the fact that PML-N was to lose more than gain through such tactics of attacking, harassing or intimidating judges and that too those who are directly associated with cases against its leadership. It seems that someone is trying to complicate things more for PML-N and Sharif family that are currently bearing the brunt of the judicial and political developments. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif did well by ordering prompt investigation into the incident, which would, hopefully, expose the entire episode. According to initial reports of the police and intelligence agencies, the bullets found within the premises of the judge were stray bullets and neighbours also categorically stated that they heard no gunshots. As residence of Sharif family are also close by and there is intense security in the areas, it is strange how the breach occurred and how those involved escaped from the scene. It would, therefore, be unfair to blame someone without waiting for the investigations, which are also being closely monitored by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar himself, who also visited the residence of the judge. The Chief Justice deserves credit for urging lawyers to call off their strike in view of the difficulties that it would have caused to the litigants. We have been emphasising in these columns that the culture of strikes and shutter down must come to an end and decent means should be adopted to register protest.

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