MULTAN: Human Rights Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was gunned down by unidentified attackers in Multan, DawnNews reported late on Wednesday night.
Initial reports suggest that Khan was targeted by two gunmen inside his office at Kachehri Chowk.
Sources told Dawn.com that two clean-shaven young men barged into Advocate Khan’s office and shot him dead. They also injured his two lawyer friends, identified as Nadeem Parwaz and Afzal.
Injured were taken to Nishtar Medical Center where Parwaz is said to be in a critical condition.
“Armed gunmen stormed the chamber of Rashid Rehman and started indiscriminate firing on Wednesday evening, injuring Rehman and two of his associates present there,” senior police official Zulfiqar Ali told AFP.
Advocate Rashid Rehman Khan was a coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). The senior lawyer was defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy and had complained that he had been receiving threats on his life.
The HRCP had voiced serious concern over the threats extended to Khan.
The Supreme Court advocate had submitted an application with the District Bar Association president Sher Zaman Qureshi last month, saying he was threatened by two lawyers and two other persons who asked him not to appear in the case he was representing.
Rehman was representing Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University.
Hafeez was known for his liberal views at the university and the case of blasphemy was registered after pressure from right-wing student groups, said a student, who wished not to be named.
Pakistan has strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty for blasphemy, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle personal disputes.
A recent report from a US government advisory panel said Pakistan used blasphemy laws more than any other country in the world, listing 14 people on death row and 19 others serving life sentences for insulting Islam.
I strongly condemn this mindless murder especially if it is done in the name of Islam which preaches justice and human rights.
It is clearly mentioned in Quran that their is no compulsion in religion and Quran also emphasizes strongly on rights of people, importance of protecting lives and justice. I pray for the victim and his family, and also pray for justice for them.