=> ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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=> ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC)

ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has decided to limit its boycott of superior courts to one hour a day and a complete boycott on Thursdays, keeping in view the hardship being faced by litigants.

A PBC resolution released here on Monday said that the climb down had been made in the interest of litigants, who were going unrepresented since the lawyers announced a complete boycott of courts on November 3 after President Pervez Musharraf in his capacity as the army chief had proclaimed emergency rule, suspended the Constitution and sacked judges.

Presided over by vice-chairman Mirza Aziz Akbar Beg, the council paid tribute to the legal community, especially lawyers from the NWFP, for their sacrifices. It decided to stay away from courts for one hour daily from 10:30am to 11:30am and observe a complete boycott every Thursday.

“This is not a direction to appear before PCO judges on other days and time but only a concession in public interest in view of the misery of persons falsely accused of criminal cases and hardship of litigants seeking determination of their genuine claims,” the resolution stated.

This concession should not be construed as recognition of PCO judges as valid and constitutional judges, it said. It asked all associations in the country to hold general body meetings and take out processions and rallies outside court premises every Thursday.

The meeting also chalked out a protest plan and asked bar associations to hold a hunger-strike camp attended by at least two members should sit in for minimum of two hours daily.

Also, bar associations would neither invite nor attend functions of any PCO judge.

The council will hold conventions in Islamabad and all other provincial capitals to further their cause for restoration of the judiciary.

The first convention will be held on February 9 in Islamabad and will be followed by a march to the residence of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.

The PBC also demanded immediate release of Supreme Court Bar Association president Aitzaz Ahsan, former PBC vice-president Ali Ahmed Kurd, Tariq Mahmood and other political prisoners.

The members resolved that they would continue to stand by the judges who refused to take oath under the PCO.

The resolution declared that former army chief Pervez Musharraf had unconstitutionally occupied the office of president.

It said the movement for restoration of judiciary and the Constitution would gain further momentum after the February 18 polls with greater participation of political parties and workers.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/15/2008