LAHORE: Lawyers on Thursday took out their weekly protest rallies and observed boycott of courts with the pledge to bring deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry back to his office.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Aitzaz Ahsan and Pakistan Bar Council member Hamid Khan also joined the daylong protests of the lawyers and remained canvassing for Ali Ahmad Kurd, who has been fielded as a presidential candidate for the upcoming elections of the SCBA.
Like last week, this Thursday also the lawyers’ leaders led the rally to the Governor House. At first, the members of the Lahore Bar Association (LBA), after holding a general house meeting, came out of the Aiwan-e-Adl and started marching on the Lower Mall. They reached the GPO Chowk, where they were joined by the lawyers of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA).
The joint rally marched towards the Governor House while chanting slogans against President Asif Ali Zardari for not restoring all the deposed judges. On reaching outside the Governor House, the lawyers gathered in different groups and remained there while delivering anti-government speeches and chanting slogans. Activists of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and Khaksar Tehrik made their presence felt by holding their party flags and chanting slogans in favour of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
Addressing the gathering outside the Governor House, Ali Ahmad Kurd said the lawyers were running their movement for the reinstatement of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
He said that he would crush with iron hands those who would become a hurdle in the way of the restoration of the deposed chief justice. He said that October 28, the scheduled day for the SCBA elections, would be the judgment day that deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was the real chief justice. He lauded that it was due to the lawyers’ movement that Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf doffed his uniform and now, he found no shelter here.
Hamid Khan said the restoration of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was the demand of the nation and 100,000 lawyers of Pakistan. He warned President Asif Ali Zardari, Law Minister Farooq H Naek, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and Attorney General of Pakistan Sardar Latif Khosa not to impede the lawyers’ movement. He added that the lawyers would give their verdict against the government-backed candidate in the upcoming SCBA elections.
Speaking on the occasion, Aitzaz Ahsan said that the aim of the lawyers’ movement was the restoration of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, adding that the lawyers would rest only after his restoration. He said that the lawyers’ movement would not end till reaching its logical end.
He alleged that some forces in the government were trying to defeat Ali Ahmad Kurd in the SCBA elections by using unfair means.
He pledged to stand by the lawyers’ movement till the restoration of all the deposed judges. Highlighting the successes of the lawyers’ movement, Aitzaz said that it was due to the movement that deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was restored on July 20, 2007; Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf doffed his uniform on Nov 27; the exile leadership could return to Pakistan; general elections were held on Feb 18; and the government was offering the deposed judges to rejoin courts.