Lawyers go on strike, Pakistan Medical Association to observe ‘Black Day’ on Dec 16

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ISLAMABAD:    As lawyers continued to boycott courts on the second day today, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) also announced it will observe a ‘Black Day’ against the attack on a Lahore cardiac hospital on Monday.
Talking to the TV channel earlier today, Punjab Institute of Cardiology’s (PIC) Executive Director, Dr Saqib Shafi, said the hospital had suffered losses to the tune of Rs70 million as a result of the lawyers’ assault on Wednesday, “but we are trying to resume operations in the emergency department from today.”
Till now, more than 80 lawyers have been arrested in connection to the storming of the PIC in Lahore and for damaging public property.
Punjab police have registered two cases against over 250 unidentified lawyers believed to be involved in the attack.
According to details, the police filed a first information report (FIR) on the complaint of an official of the PIC and another one on behalf of a police official at the Shadman police station.
The cases have been registered under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 322 (qatl-bis-sabab), 452 (trespassing), 353 (assault to deter public servant from performing duty), 354 (assault on woman to outrage her modesty), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 395 (dacoity) as well as Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).
Meanwhile, the lawyers’ ‘Joint Action Committee’ — formed on an emergency basis to chart a response as public condemnation of their actions pours in — called for a boycott of court proceedings on Friday.
The joint committee includes representatives from the Pakistan Bar Council, Supreme Court Bar and Lahore High Court Bar.
Lawyers insist the strike is in response to the “partial and biased” conduct of local police and the Punjab administration, as well as to protest the action taken by the Islamabad High Court against the secretary-general of the Islamabad High Court Bar Association.
On Thursday, the chief justice of the IHC had issued a show cause notice to Umair Baloch, the secretary of the IHC Bar Association, for forcing lawyers to quit the court.
When 46 cuffed lawyers were presented in an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Thursday, Judge Abdul Qayyum Khan refused to grant the police physical remand and sent them to jail on judicial remand instead.
Meanwhile, a petition filed by the lawyers against their arrest will be heard in the Lahore High Court Friday.

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