Prominent Pakistani lawyer is shot dead on high court premises | Pakistan

A prominent Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist known as a vocal critic of the military and Islamist militants has been shot dead at a court in the north-western city of Peshawar.

Abdul Latif Afridi, a former president of Pakistan’s supreme court bar association, was shot multiple times, apparently by one gunman, on the premises of the Peshawar high court, said a police official, Kashif Abbasi.

“We have arrested the culprit from the crime scene,” Abbasi said, adding that the suspected assailant had dressed as a lawyer to gain entry to the court premises.

He identified the arrested man as Adnan Sami Afridi, who is not related to the victim. Lawyers on the premises added that the gunman did not try to flee after the shooting.

Though a heavy police contingent is deployed at the Peshawar court, lawyers are not body searched on entry. The security arrangements have previously been questioned, especially after a US national of Pakistani origin who was on trial on blasphemy charges was fatally shot by a teenage boy inside a courtroom in 2020.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, condemned the latest killing and expressed his grief and sorrow.

Abdul Latif Afridi, a renowned human rights and political activist, has been a vocal critic of the powerful military’s alleged interference in Pakistani politics and of Islamist militancy.

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