well-known jurist shot dead

Latif Afridi, 79, was allegedly killed by a relative, Pakistani press reports. Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his condolences and called on the provincial government to keep the situation under control. The lawyer had repeatedly criticized the interference of the army in politics.

Peshawar ( / Agencies) – The former president of the High Court Bar Association, jurist and human rights defender, Latif Afridi, was killed today with a firearm inside the Peshawar High Court. Urgently transported to the hospital, he died before arriving as a result of the injuries received.

The local police superintendent, Kashif Abbassi, explained that Afridi was with other lawyers in a courtroom when a gunman opened fire on him. The attacker was identified as Adnan Afridi, police added, suggesting that the killer is a relative of the victim.

Those in charge of investigating the case, added Abbassi, believe that it is a settling of accounts between families. The Pakistani daily Dawn says the attacker is believed to be the cousin of anti-terrorism judge Aftab Afridi, who was also shot dead last year. Latif Afridi and some other family members had been summoned in the case, but were later acquitted by the Anti-Terror Court in the city of Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. However, according to Reuters, the attacker is not related to the murdered lawyer.

The Peshawar High Court Lawyers Association expressed concern, calling the incident a “security breach”, questioning how an armed man could have entered the court. Any person who shows an identity document can enter the headquarters of the Superior Court.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep regret over the “brutal murder” of the lawyer: “I pray that the family bear this loss with strength. The deterioration of security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is alarming,” the Pakistani prime minister said, adding that the provincial government must immediately take the necessary measures to restore tranquility in the region.

Latif Afridi, 79, was a constitutional scholar and had repeatedly criticized the Pakistani military’s meddling in politics. He had already escaped before some attempts against him.

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