Lawyers denounce bin Laden killing


Groups of Pakistani lawyers on Wednesday held protests over the US killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, denouncing America and saying prayers for their “hero”.
The Al-Qaeda chief was discovered and killed in a family villa in the town of Abbottabad, a mile from Pakistan’s equivalent of West Point and a mere 30 miles (50 kilometres) from the capital Islamabad.
About 70 lawyers staged a rally in Abbottabad, condemning the US operation in their city, witnesses said.
They shouted “Go, America go,” “Osama bin Laden is our hero” and chanted slogans against the US-allied and deeply fractured Pakistani government.
“We condemn terrorism but cannot accept any violation of our sovereignty,” said Tahir Faraz Abbasi, president of the local bar association.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, where bin Laden once lived during the fight to evict Soviet troops from nearby Afghanistan, about 200 lawyers offered special prayers for the Al-Qaeda supremo at the courts.
“Osama was a Muslim hero. He had been waging jihad (holy war) for Muslims across the world,” said prominent local lawyer Ghulam Nabi.
“I doubt Osama was in Abbottabad. Even if he were, he was our hero and he will remain our hero,” he said.
Conspiracy theories, fanned by deep distrust of the United States, have raced like wildfire through Pakistani communities over bin Laden’s killing.