By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani
ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said on Saturday the call for March 9 long march is a “real call” and not a mere threat, which will advance the objectives for which Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood has been deprived of liberty for the last four months.In this respect, suggestions of Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood, who is a hero of the lawyers’ movement, would certainly be entertained, said SCBA president while giving The News complete detail of the March 9 lawyersí long march.Aitzaz said Justice Tariqís contributions are unforgettable. “Lawyers across Pakistan and activists of civil society acknowledge his great sacrifices. We are proud of Justice Tariq,” Aitzaz added.He said, “We will certainly give Parliament and the government time to reinstate the chief justice of Pakistan and other judges sacked after November 3rd imposition of emergency and proclamation of unconstitutional Provisional Constitution Order (PCO).”But, if clear and firm declarations are not made ahead of the deadline, we may have to go ahead with the long march, he said.Aitzaz said as per the present schedule, deposed judges from Sindh and Quetta will reach Multan by air on March 9. And on March 10, they will be driven by the lawyers from the Sukkur, Bahawalpur and Multan divisions to Lahore. On their way they will address the Bar associations of Sahiwal and Okara. They will spend the night in Lahore and on 11 the long March will continue to culminate in Islamabad,” Aitzaz said, adding, “Some time on 11 or 12 March, bar associations along the route will be addressed and civil society and people of Pakistan will join the march.” He said the march will begin on 9 March and probably reach the final destination on 12 March.Aitzaz said suggestions given by Justice Tariq have worth and will be discussed. He said Justice Tariq has given some suggestions in good faith, and he has sincere affiliation with the lawyers’ movement. However, he warned the conspiratorial elements not to use Justice Tariq’s statement as a means to divide the lawyers’ movement.He also called upon the lawyers to remain alert of such elements and remain united for the cause. He said victory of the lawyers and civil society, who always raised voice and fight for truth, was very near.Aitzaz appreciated Imran Khan and his partyís role in the lawyers’ movement. He said activists of Tehreek-e-Insaaf fought along with the lawyers at every front and even his sisters were not only manhandled but also humiliated in Lahore during demonstration against dictatorship. He said that lawyers’ movement respects every political party and praises the sacrifices rendered by the members of the civil society.Sources told The News that certain elements on the signals from a human rights organisation were trying to split the lawyers’ movement and want to take the advantage of the sincere suggestions of Justice Tariq. But Aitzaz appealed to the legal fraternity to remain united as in the past as the destination of achieving a Pakistan with supremacy of law and constitution was very near now.
By Muhammad Ahmad Noorani