‘Real democracy sans free judiciary not possible' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Real democracy sans free judiciary not possible’

LAHORE – Without restoration of independent judiciary there will be no democracy in the country, say speakers at a protest demonstration outside Aitzaz Ahsan’s house. The demonstration organised by the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP) was joined by people from different walks of life.

The protesters also had a minor clash with police deployed outside Aitzaz’s house but some senior lawyers averted the clash.

The speakers addressing dozens of protesters also demanded the winning political parties to get the deposed judges restored first and then go for formation of the government. Pakistan Tehrim-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Bar Council member Hamid Khan Advocate, CCP leader Hamid Zaman and Mrs Bushra Aitzaz were among the speakers.

The protesters, more than 200, also marched from Aitzaz’s house to The Mall while chanting anti-Musharraf and pro-deposed judges slogans. They recited national anthem on The Mall and after spending half an hour they returned to Aitzaz’s house and dispersed.

Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal, human rights activist Faryal Gauhar, Supreme Court Bar Association executive committee member Khawaja Tariq Sohail, SCBA media advisor Advocate Muhammad Azhar and Lahore High Court Bar Association newly elected finance secretary Sayyeda Feroza Rubab were prominent among the participants.

Imran Khan’s aunt Begum Jahangir Khan (88) also joined the rally on a wheel chair.

Dozens of workers of PTI, PPP, Students Action Committee and CCP joined the protest. Most of the protesters were holding portraits of Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Aitzaz Ahsan. PTI and PPP workers were holding their party flags while most of the CCP activists were holding national flags, Justice Chaudhry’s portraits and placards inscribed with demands for release of detained lawyers and detained judges.

Heavy police contingency was deployed outside the residence of Aitzaz which did not let the protesters go in front of Aitzaz’s house as they blocked the ways leading to his house. However, the protesters including women and children in large number gathered near the barricades blocking way from the canal road, and chanted anti-government slogans.

Later Imran Khan with large number of his party workers joined the protest and addressed the protestors.

He said he wanted to see Pakistan a country according to the vision of Quaid-e-Azam where will be rule of law and independent judiciary. He said his party would continue fighting till restoration of deposed judges, adding those parties will not be able to bring public support which will not favour lawyers movement. He urged the winning political parties to further lawyers movement so that a bright future could be ensured for the country and its people.

He said US people wanted removal of Musharraf but Bush administration was supporting him.

He said MQM was a terrorist party and PTI would not have any relation with it until it will quit its terrorist activities.

He said only independence of judiciary could ensure welfare in the country. He also condemned curbs on media and termed the PEMRA ordinance as illegal and against right of information and freedom of speech.

Hamid Khan said lawyers struggle would continue till restoration of Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He said coalition of lawyers and civil society would ensure independence of judiciary, adding all APDM parties and lawyers were with media and would not rest till its independence. Those parties which favoured Musharraf in future would lose their importance, he said.

Bushra Aitzaz thanked all the people for protesting for her husband’s release and said may God succeed them in their ‘noble cause’. She said there would be no democracy without independence of judiciary. She appreciated the lawyers’ movement saying that it united political parties which were archrival of each others in past.
Source: The Nation
Date:2/25/2008