August 8th, the heaviest day, when a generation of lawyers was lost in Quetta, still haunts the people. After four years, the day appears to be very heavy and fresh for those who lost their loved ones in the deadly civil hospital bombing in Quetta, Pakistan’s Southwestern city. Relatives and friends recall memories of their loved ones with a burst of tears.
“This day still haunts me and my family members”, Iftikhar Ahmed, the elder son of Nasir Kakar Advocate who lost his life in the bombing told the daily Quetta Voice. 13-year old Ahmed studies in class 8 in one of the city’s private schools.
“Like my father, I want to become a lawyer to serve the people”, he says without mincing any word. Ironically, the terror incident could not stop the youngsters from joining the legal fraternity. The number of newcomers has significantly increased during the last few years.
“Since August 8, we have issued licenses to 500 newcomers”, Munir Ahmed Kakar Advocate, the Vice-Chairman Balochistan Bar Association revealed. Contrary to the pressure and terror attack, trend lawyer has developed in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan, Mr. Kakar said.
The deadly suicide bombing martyred 56 lawyers including lawyers leaders Baz Muhammad Kakar, Dawood Kasi Advocate, Barrister Adnan Kasi, Qahir Shah Advocate, Sangat Jamaldini Advocate, Chakar Baloch Advocate and others. The bombing also martyred DawnNews cameraman Mehmood Khan Hamdard and Aaj TV cameraman Shehzad Khan. The two newsmen lost their lives in the line of duty.
“My objective is to fulfill the mission of my fallen brother”, Ali Ahmed Kakar Advocate, the younger brother of lawyers leader Baz Muhammad Kakar Advocate said. Soon after the terrorist incident, which claimed his brother’s life, Ali abandoned a non-governmental organization’s job and joined the legal fraternity in Quetta.
Like Ali, most of the family members who suffered this irreparable loss sent their sons and daughters to courts in the province to practice law.
The Balochistan government had announced a number of initiatives to fill the vacuum caused by the Quetta carnage. The government had given 250 million rupees to elected bodies of lawyers to send the newcomers especially from martyrs families for advanced studies to London. “Nine newcomers have completed their LLM from London and 7 of them are back in Quetta”, Munir Kakar informed. Over 97 sons and daughters of martyred lawyers have been studying on scholarships under the program financed by the Balochistan government currently, he mentioned.
Colleagues and friends still recall memories of fallen members of the legal fraternity in Quetta. “We cannot forget this day”, Asif Reki, the President Quetta Bar Association said. Mr. Reki was junior of Baz Muhammad Kakar Shaheed and recalls his mentor with tears in his eyes. Our fallen heroes were like academies and we lost them in a movement, Mr. Reki stated.
August 8 is being observed as a black day in Quetta and other parts of the country by lawyers, political parties and civil society.