Black coats, HR activists protest lawyers, judges detention -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Black coats, HR activists protest lawyers, judges detention

LAHORE – Lawyers, students, political and civil society activists on Sunday held a protest rally outside the residence of detained President Supreme Court Bar Association Aitzaz Ahsan to record their protest against lawyers and judges’ detention and press their demand for restoration of deposed judges.

The rally, which was organised by the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP), started from outside Aitzaz’s house and culminated at the same point after marching through Canal Road, Dharampur Underpass and Sundar Das Road.

The protesters were holding banners and portraits of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Aitzaz Ahsan.

They chanted slogans in favour of lawyers’ movement and against the government and present judges of higher judiciary particularly newly appointed judges of the Lahore High Court.

The participants included, Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, SCBA secretary Javed Ameen Javed, PMA president Dr Zahid Muhiuddin, Lahore High Court Bar Association former secretary finance Rabbiya Bajwa and rights activist Ayesha Tummy Haque.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf activists also participated in the protest rally while carrying their party flags. Before starting the march, some speakers stressed the importance of independent judiciary and rule of law.

Speaking at the occasion, Advocate Salman Akram Raja said Saturday’s police brutal torture on lawyers in Islamabad, would not frighten the lawyers rather it would add new vigour in their ranks.

He said that lawyers’ movement would continue even after the elections in case the new government did not take steps to restore the deposed judges. An independent judiciary could only ensure the integrity and survival of the country and restore people’s self respect, Raja said.

Justice (r) Nasir Javed Iqbal commented upon Justice Bhoon’s elevation as judge, said, “Those who are purchasable, the usurpers always purchase them”. She said that the upcoming election would be the beginning of dictator’s end. An activist of Students Action Committee put a resolution wherein he demanded independence of judiciary, rule of law and supervision of justice, which was passed unanimously. He also condemned Islamabad police for torturing students and teachers in lawyers rally on Saturday.

Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, SCBA media advisor, during his speech, demanded action against the police officials responsible for using violence against peaceful protesters in Islamabad. He said that a judicial inquiry should be conducted into the incident by a deposed judge of the Supreme Court. He said that Justice Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon had betrayed the legal fraternity by becoming LHC’s judge.

All the participants unanimously rejected the new appointments of LHC judges when Azhar sought their point of view during his speech.

However, Azhar appreciated Advocate Ashtar Ausaf for rejecting government’s offer to become a judge of the LHC. Advocate Rabbiya Bajwa, talking to media, dispelled the impression that Bhoon’s elevation to bench would weaken lawyers’ movement.

She said that a decisive phase of the movement would start pretty soon and it would be successful because Bhoon is not more there to defuse it.
Source: The Nation
Date:2/11/2008