Lawyers representing seven Pakistani suspects currently being tried by an anti-terror court for alleged involvement in the Mumbai attacks have claimed that their lives are in danger and no security is being provided to them despite a court order in this regard.
"I have asked the concerned authorities whether will they act only when any of us is targeted the way the lawyer of (Indian national Sabahuddin) Ansari, Shahid Azmi, was gunned down in Mumbai," Khwaja Sultan, counsel for Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, told PTI. Sultan said after he had filed an application, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Mohammad Sharif had directed authorities to provide security to all five defence lawyers. He contended that not even a single policeman had been deputed to protect the lawyers.
"This is a high-profile case and anything can happen to lawyers representing either the accused or the state," Sultan said. He claimed the venue of the trial Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi was "highly unsafe" and said the case should be shifted to Lahore. "I had requested the Lahore High Court to shift the case to Lahore primarily for the safety of lawyers. The High Court chief justice must take notice of the flouting of his order and provide us security without any further delay," he said. Lakhvi is accused of masterminding the Mumbai carnage and providing training and weapons to the 10 terrorists involved in the attacks. Besides Lakhvi and the six other men currently on trial, another 20 suspects are absconding.