I’ve lost all my friends—all my friends, says Barrister Amir Lehri, who was particularly close to four of the lawyers killed in the bombing: Daud Kasi, Adnan Kasi, Bilal Kasi, Arbab Gul Zareen. Quetta is a small city. “Almost everyone is related to each other.” He can’t stop thinking of the 41-year-old Daud, who leaves behind four daughters.
“It is a stress-filled profession but he would always be laughing and doing bachon walli harkatein,” Amir told The Friday Times over the phone from Quetta. Daud loved travelling. “He would say sitting at home would feel like pins and needles.” In fact, they had just returned from a small visit to Ziarat. “It was with him that I saw all of Balochistan.” He would make plans for any public holiday and drag his friends out. On Saturdays Daud would always call Amir with some picnic plan. According to Amir’s cousin Dr Kausar Rehman, Amir’s wife would quip that she wished Amir would take her phone calls with the same kind of joy he showed when Daud called. “Amir told me now the Saturday calls would be no more,” Rehman adds.
Daud had always wanted to become a lawyer and did his LLB from Quetta’s University Law College.
He was from a family of highly educated people. His father, Dr Abdul Malik Kasi, was a physician in the UK and became a household name in Balochistan as a senior paediatrician and federal minister in Musharraf’s time. One member of the family became a chief justice. Daud himself became the president of the bar association in 2011, just like Bilal was now. “When a new associate would join, Daud would tell him to fix his tie or chide him, ‘Aaj shave nahi kia’.” This sort of stuck and they would then joke about him fixating on everyone’s ties. Daud’s “Shame on you” became his stock phrase.
On Monday, Amir was supposed to take care of cases outside Quetta but they got cancelled, so he was late to leave the house. And then the phone started ringing. “We couldn’t recognise the bodies for hours,” he says.