It was a horrific incident. Last Tuesday, a senior Quetta lawyer Abdul Razzak Shar was on his way to the Baluchistan High Court - where he had filed a petition against PTI Chairman Imran Khan seeking his trial for high treason under Article 6 - when armed men riding two motorcycles opened fire on him. He died before reaching the hospital. Initial reports suggested it was a case of personal enmity. But it did not take long for a Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Ataullah Tarar, to point the finger at Khan saying “Imran will be nominated in this murder case. ... It [the PTI] has become a militant and terrorist outfit. ... Imran won’t be able to save himself in this case.” Soon afterwards, the police registered First Information Report on the complaint of Shar’s son nominating the former prime minister as the suspect.

Imran Khan already faces some 140 odd cases – amply qualified to find a place in the Guinness book of World Records - including treason and (abortive) murder of a third tier PML-N leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha. As expected, his party immediately rejected the latest allegation as “baseless and futile”, demanding registration of a case against Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah for Shar’s murder. The PTI has also requested the Supreme Court to take immediate notice of the incident. It is unfortunate that a tragic loss of life should be used to settle political scores. Those that indulge in such mischief do no service to their party by levelling all sorts of wild allegations. Unsubstantiated allegations not only further vitiate the political atmosphere; they are unfair to the murder victim. The investigation agencies should examine the case from all angles, establish the identity and the motive of the killers in a transparent manner, and let the law take its course. It may be recalled that earlier this year, a prominent lawyer and highly respected political activist, Latif Afridi, was shot dead in the Peshawar High Court barroom which was suspected to be a politically motivated crime, but later turned out to be a case of family feud. Shar’s murder must not be exploited for political purposes. The government and law enforcement agencies under it have a responsibly to provide justice to Shar’s family. That should end the guessing game as to who might have committed this heinous crime and why.