Lawyers, Opposition Scold Musharraf

Marching through the streets of Islamabad and major cities nationwide angry lawyers and protestors scolded President Prevez Musharraf over his suspension of the country's top judge.

Lawyers, Opposition Scold Musharraf

"Lawyers have come in the field for elimination of the current dictatorial rule and restoration of the independence of judiciary, and basic human rights in the country," Ehsan Boon, President of Lahore High Court Bar Association, told

"Now, our struggle will not restrict to reinstatement of the suspended chief justice, but it continue till the end of dictatorship in the country."

Boon announced plans for a "million march" in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, on April 19 to show solidarity with suspended chief justice Iftikhar Chaudry.

Thousands of flag-waving protesters assembled outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad during a third hearing into misconduct charges lodged by Musharraf against Chaudry.

"Go Musharraf Go", "Reinstate the chief justice", "Military rule unacceptable" and "Musharraf, killer of justice," were few of the slogans they chanted.

Baton-wielding riot police charged the lawyers and political activists as well as media persons covering the rally, led by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Secretary General of six-party religious alliance, Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal, and Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Vice Chairman of Pakistan People's Party.

Police had already arrested some 2000 activists of different political parties and placed many opposition leaders, including MMA President Qazi Hussein Ahmad under house arrest, as a preemptive measure.

Chaudry's suspension has plunged the south Asian country into a judicial and constitutional crisis and several judges have since resigned their posts in protest.

Many believe Chaudry is being punished for refusing to toe the official line on several issues, including the controversial file of missing Pakistanis, as well as his opposition to the planned re-election of Musharraf later this year.

Fake Lawyers

Thousands of flag-waving protesters marched through major cities nationwide.

The demonstration turned violation after some people wearing black coats (showing themselves as lawyer) chanted slogans in support of Musharraf.

Angry lawyers besieged the group and asked them to prove their identity, which they could not.

They scuffed with the individuals, who later turned out to be government servants.

"Some 20 to 25 people, including me came here to shout slogans in favor of General Musharraf," Qari Hanif, one of the fake lawyers, told reporters.

"I am an employee at provincial assembly of Punjab. Our officers told us to arrive here and raise slogans in favor of General Musharraf."

The police and district administration managed to rescue the fake lawyers, and took them in their custody.

Similar massive rallies were also staged in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and other cities.

Thousands of lawyers from Lahore High Court Bar Association and Punjab Bar Association marched through the streets of Lahore, the capital of the Punjab province.

Carrying black flags and wearing black armbands, protesting lawyers chanted slogans against Musharraf for suspending the top judge and appointing a Hindu as his replacement.

They burned the effigies of Musharraf and some ministers.

Women lawyers observed hunger strike in Karachi, besides boycotting the court proceedings to protest against the suspension of the top judge.

Thousands of lawyers participated in a protest rally which marched through the city streets.

The Supreme Judicial Council reserved the verdict on whether the hearing of the presidential reference against the chief justice should be held in open court or in-camera.

Tariq Mehmood, one of the lawyers defending the suspended chief justice, told IOL they demanded of an open trial while government counsel Dr. Khalid Ranjha wanted an in-camera trial.

Mahmood said the composition of the SJC, which had been challenged by the suspended chief justice, would be debated in the next hearing.

Chaudry had challenged the composition of the SJC asserting that judicial references were pending against two of its members on charges of misconduct.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16