Judiciary issue: MPs warned against compromise -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Judiciary issue: MPs warned against compromise

RAWALPINDI, Feb 20: Lawyers of Rawalpindi Bar Association (RBA) here on Wednesday asked the newly elected members of National and provincial assemblies of major political parties that before taking oath they should make their stand on the restoration of deposed judges clear.

In a general body meeting the lawyers said they would stage rally outside the parliament on the day the newly elected members would take oath.

Some speakers warned the political parties against compromising on independence of judiciary and rule of law in the country.

The lawyers vowed to accelerate their movement for the return of the deposed judges and decided to gather outside the residence of detained chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Thursday and protest for his reinstatement.

They decided to mobilise the lawyers of Pindi division through coordination and soon stage a big protest rally. They also planned to make the March 9 a memorable day.

In a bid to further strengthen their struggle they decided to invite the deposed judges and the political leaders taking side with them in the bar.

The lawyers maintained that their struggle was first for the restoration of judges and secondly for the removal of President Pervez Musharraf and as long as they did not get these targets, they would continue raising voice against the arbitrary ouster of some 60 judges by the then army chief on November 3.

Later, the lawyers staged a big rally outside the city courts and blocked the Kachari Chowk. They chanted slogans against President Musharraf and returned to the court premises peacefully.

In another related development in the RBA, members of an election monitoring European Union group visited the bar office and took the views of the lawyers’ representatives about the February 18 general elections. The office bearers of the RBA conveyed to the foreign visitors that in some constituencies the results were first withheld and declared late. The main beneficiaries of the delay have been the candidates of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q.

The lawyers expressed their apprehension about the post-poll rigging saying it was after 2002 elections that the majority party was not allowed to form the government but made to sit on opposition benches. They said the establishment would try to convert the will of the people in minority by setting up coalitions of convenience.
Source: Dawn
Date:2/21/2008