Weekly protest -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Weekly protest

City Courts’ lawyers staged a sit-in on main MA Jinnah Road on Thursday in connection with their ongoing protest week, demanding for the restoration of Justice Iftikhar and other judges of superior courts.

The lawyers took out a procession from City Courts and marched on MA Jinnah Road in the morning, suspending vehicular traffic for an hour during peak rush time. They were carrying placards and shouting slogans against the government.

They stayed away from the court proceedings for the whole day, however, judges were present in their chambers. Oath commissioners and stamp vendors also kept their businesses partially off.

About 300 under trial prisoners were brought at the court but they had to return without the hearing of their cases owing to the non-appearance of lawyers.

A family member of an inmate was critical of judges, saying they were being given such dates when lawyers use to boycott court proceedings for almost a year now. In many cases, courts were supposed to announce release of inmates due to lack of evidence but the same remains pending owing to boycott by lawyers.

Hundreds of inmates are languishing in jails for committing no crime and they were being detained for several months for want of verification.

Earlier, Karachi Bar Association held its general body meeting at Shuhada-e-Punjab Hall, with its Secretary Naeem Qureshi in the chair.

Speaking on the occasion, Mehmood-ul-Hasan said that the struggle for the independence of judiciary would continue till the restoration of superior courts’ judges as well as the rule of law in the country.

Hasan said that lawyers have postponed their long march to Islamabad to give time to the coming parliament, adding: “But they must be aware that we would not sit as silent spectators till the attainment of our objectives”.

Giving details of the “black flag week” starting from March 9, Naeem Qureshi disclosed that on the first day of the week a joint protest meeting of KBA, SHCBA, KUJ and People’s Resistance will be held at the Karachi Press Club.

On the second day, a protest rally would be taken out from City Courts, which would march towards KPC via SHC. During the week, all bar associations, including Malir Bar, will hoist black flags on top of their premises; lawyers will wear black caps and black wrist bands, while the female advocates will wear black scarves as a mark of solidarity and respect for the deposed CJP Chaudhry Mohammed Iftikhar. Besides, rallies and processions will be taken out on the rest of the week’s days.

Naeem further said that black flag week was also being supported by traders, transporters, labours, students, media and political parties, and they have chalked out elaborate programmes, particularly for March 9.

Lawyers would stay away from court proceedings for the whole week, he added.
Source: The News
Date:3/7/2008