The criminal behavior of the lawyers in Lahore has shocked the nation and the world. They not only kidnapped and injured former federal minister Dr. Sher Afghan Niazi but they threw rocks and flattened the tires of the ambulance that was taking him to the hospital for treatment. Mr. Aitezaz Ahsan, the leader of the lawyers movement, has resigned from his position as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
While some may be tempted to call it an isolated incident, the facts indicate otherwise. Several months ago, similar violence was perpetrated by lawyers outside the Supreme Court building against a few people carrying pro-Musharraf signs in the midst of a sea of black coats opposed to Musharraf's unlawful actions against the judiciary. Dr. Farooq Sattar and Senator Tariq Azim were also subjected to violence and needed hospitalization.
The shameful behavior of the lawyers makes a mockery of their claim that their movement is aimed at restoring "democracy" and "rule of law". It also raises questions about the readiness of Pakistani civil society to govern itself in a democratic manner. The conspiracy theories and the claims of "invisible hand" will not satisfy those of us looking for the facts. Unless there is full, impartial and apolitical investigation of this incident, this incident will be seen as part of a pattern of violence that has characterized the entire lawyers movement supported by politicians now in charge after the elections.