The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), a supervisory body of lawyers, has announced a countrywide strike for Saturday (today) to condemn the suicide attack on the Mardan district courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Condemning the attack on Friday, PBC vice chairman Dr Farogh Naseem and its Executive Committee chairman Abdul Fayaz asked the lawyers to hold protest meetings in bar rooms and wear black armbands to condemn the tragic incident in which at least 13 people, including five lawyers and two policemen, lost their lives.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali also condemned the bomb blast and offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

The PBC criticised the federal and KP governments for what it called their utter failure to maintain law and order in the province and provide security to people. The council asked the governments to arrest the culprits and bring them to book at the earliest.

Expressing sympathy with the bereaved families on behalf of the legal fraternity, the PBC stressed the need for evolving a foolproof mechanism to improve security in and around courts throughout the country and ensure safety and protection of judges, lawyers and litigants.

The PBC’s Human Rights Committee, headed by Muhammad Raheel Kamran Sheikh, had at a recent meeting adopted a resolution calling upon the CJP as well as chief justices of high courts to play an active supervisory role in ensuring safety and security of all registries of the Supreme Court as well as the high courts.

The resolution suggested to the chief justices to devise an appropriate mechanism in coordination with the federal and provincial governments for supervising the safety measures to be adopted by intelligence and law enforcement agencies for security of courts’ premises. The chief justices were also requested to periodically hold meetings with the district and sessions judges for the purpose.

The resolution had asked the Supreme Court Bar Association and high court, district and tehsil bar associations to form their respective committees and evolve measures for safety and security of lawyers in coordination with respective administrations.