Lawyers to observe 'black week' from March 10-16 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Lawyers to observe ‘black week’ from March 10-16

The legal fraternity will be observing March 10 to 16 as a “black week” all over the country to condemn the wrongful removal of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.

This was announced by the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Aitzaz Ahsan, during a telephonic address to lawyers at the Karachi Bar Association (KBA) on Thursday.

During these days, he said, black flags will be hoisted at the office of every bar association of the country, protest rallies and demonstrations will be staged, and Judges who were forcibly removed under the PCO will also address the bar associations.

The protest plan was unveiled to mark the one year anniversary of the removal of Chief Justice Chaudhry.

During his address to lawyers at the Shuhada-e-Punjab Hall of the KBA, he said that lawyers had extended their protest plan for March 9, as they wanted to give some time to the newly-elected parliamentarians for restorating the Judges of the superior courts. While appreciating the ongoing struggle of lawyers he said that he would have personally addressed the KBA if he would had not been detained.

The Secretary-General, KBA, Naeem Qureshi, informed the gathering that Bushra Aitzaz had accepted the invitation of the Karachi Bar and will address the body on March 13.

Ahsan was of the view that the recently-elected members of parliament must not be pressurised with demands before the formation of new government. Let the elected politicians enter the parliament, he said, adding that, if the demands of lawyers were not fulfiled, then there would be no option left except to agitate. He warned that the protest then would “have no ending”.

The basic issues he said, were the restoration of the Constitution in its original form and independence of the judiciary, as, he said, no country on earth could last long without the independence of the judiciary. The Justice Chaudhry, the lawyers said, had set a shining example by refusing to resign and take dictation from the rulers, which proved that judiciary will never surrender to dictators.

He said that July 20, 2007, was a milestone in the history of Pakistan. Quoting Article 209, he said no judge can be removed with the stroke of a pen.

“There is no need for two-thirds majority in the parliament for restoration of Judges,” he reiterated, adding that they could be reinstated through a simple executive notification. He also condemned the validating of the amendments made in the Constitution saying, “We do not accept any change made in the Constitution after Nov 3, 2007”.

Replying to a question, the KBA Secretary-general said that PPP central leadership had expressed solidarity with the lawyer community and was in consultation with the senior lawyers to resolve issues.

He rejected the decision of the PCO Judges to validate the post-November 3 position just because they were major the beneficiaries under the PCO.

Meanwhile, a complete boycott of courts’ proceedings continued on Thursday, with no lawyers attending the courts.

Source: The News
Date:2/29/2008