Lawyers to stage sit-in at Parliament House
Asmatullah says long march not aimed at destabilising govt
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the Pakistan lawyers’ movement on Monday expressed the resolve to stage a sit-in (Dharna) in front of the Parliament House on June 12 till the restoration of the deposed judges of the superior courts and implementation of the Mureee Declaration in letter and spirit.
Addressing a joint press conference outside the Supreme Court building here, President Lahore High Court Bar Association, Rawalpindi Bench, Sardar Asmatullah, said the long march would be “completely peaceful” as lawyers have no personal agenda but want to restore the judiciary to its November 2, 2007 position.
“Our purpose of launching the long march and giving Dharna on June 12 is not to destabilise the government but to exert pressure for restoration of the deposed judges, pledged by the coalition partners in the Bhurban Declaration,” he maintained.
Flanked by Islamabad Bar President Haroon Rashid, Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood and spokesperson Athar Minallah advocate of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Sardar Asmatullah said the long march would be given a grand reception in front of the High Court building after reaching Rawalpindi from where it would move towards Islamabad via Murree Road. He said that non-functional judges would also accompany the long march and urged the coalition government to honour its commitment made in the Murree Deceleration for the restoration of the judges of the superior courts.
He said the march was being launched to create public awareness of the need for reinstating the “independent judges”, adding that the legal fraternity will not be provoked and they will not storm any building or damage any property.
Giving details about the route of the long march, he said in the first stage the long march participants would reach Sukkur, and on June 10 they will reach Multan where deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would address the rally.
He said the participans of the long march would leave Multan for Lahore at 9am on June 11, adding that deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would address them when they arrive in Lahore. The marchers would leave for Islamabad at 9am on June 12. Processions from various cities and towns would join the marchers along the route, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Athar Minallah said their protest would be peaceful, adding that June 12 is the date for the restoration of the judges. He said that delay in the reinstatement of the judges was tantamount to damaging the credibility of the democratic forces who are ruling the country, adding that whosoever prepared the constitutional package had invited the public. “The constitutional package being drafted by the government is nothing but to indemnify the illegal acts of President Musharraf taken on November 3, 2007,” Athar Minallah said and added that they would never accept the constitutional package and were determined to restore the deposed judges of the superior courts for which, he said, their struggle would continue.
To a question, he said the long march would not endanger the democratic process of the country. He said that millions of people along with the lawyers’ community are united at one common platform to launch the peaceful movement for the restoration of the deposed judges.
He regretted holding the press conference outside the Supreme Court building, adding they were not allowed to invite newsmen inside the court premises by sitting Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. However, he hoped that they would hold next news conference on the SC premises.
Source: The News