LAHORE - Lawyers held strike yesterday in all courts of the provincial capital to condemn brutal suicide attack in Mardan which claimed lives of 14 people, including four lawyers.

The lawyers boycotted courts including sessions and civil courts and all other special courts in the provincial capital. They held strong protest against the failure of the state agencies to trace out the terrorists and bring them to justice.

Expressing sympathies with the bereaved families, they demanded of the government to provide foolproof security to the courts and bar associations across the country. The lawyers also assured the government of their full cooperation.

The lawyers’ regulatory bodies, including Pakistan Bar Council and provincial bar councils, had announced strike for yesterday across the country. They condemned the attack and demanded the police and other officials to provide them foolproof security.

At the Lahore High Court Bar Association, the office bearers called meeting and strongly condemned the coward attack of the terrorists at the entrance of the Mardan district courts.

The LHCBA members paid tribute to the police officials who sacrificed themselves and did not allow the bomber enter into the premises of the courts. They were proud of the sacrifices of police officials. They demanded that the government must announce financial support for the families of the martyrs.

Despite the fact that lawyers are continuously being targeted by terrorists, they stated, they would not surrender before the evil powers and they would remain united.

At the sessions court, the lawyers did not appear before the courts to protest against the brutal attack. The judges supported the lawyers’ protest as they remained in their chambers instead of sitting in the courtrooms. Everyone was seen scared due to continuous attacks on legal fraternity.

Litigants who had come to the sessions, civil and guardian courts as well as to the magistrates at different courts including Model Town, Lahore District Courts and Cantt courts, suffered greatly as the cases were adjourned to the next dates.

The litigants also expressed serious concerns over the failure of the government authorities and security agencies regarding provision of security at courts. Mushtaq Ahmad, a resident of Begum Kot, said that he came early as Saturday’s hearing of his son’s bail petition was fixed. But unfortunately it was deferred for another date. “The authorities don’t care of security at any place; they make hollow claims because the terrorists attack whenever or wherever they want without any hindrance,” said Mushtaq.

Muhammad Majid, another citizen who had come at Aiwan-i-Adl from Manga Mandi for a civil matter said that his lawyers gave him a hope his case would be taken up. “I am here since morning but now leaving for my home disappointed as my case was not taken up,” he told The Nation.

He added that the reader and other court staff were not available there to give him the next date.