By Wajih Ahmad Sheikh
LAWYERS’ caravans from across the province Saturday left for Faisalabad to welcome ‘deposed’ Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at an All Pakistan Lawyers’ Representatives Convention.
The destination of every caravan was the Pindi Bhattian interchange on the motorway, where lawyers of all bar associations of the province joined the motorcade of the chief justice.
From the provincial capital, lawyers of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and the Lahore Bar Association left for Faisalabad at 5:30pm in 10 buses and 2,500 cars. The LHCBA and the LBA had arranged for five buses each for lawyers and a motorcade of 2,500 led the rally to its destination.
A bus carrying only young lawyers left the Lahore High Court for Pindi Bhattian at 2pm, chanting slogans in favour of the chief justice. A caravan of civil society activists left for Faisalabad from 5-Zaman Park, the residence of SCBA President Aitzaz Ahsan, at 4pm with 150 cars. The convoy stopped at Aiwan-e-Adl and later moved with the LBA caravan.
As per the schedule, the convention was to start at 6pm, but was delayed due to slow movement of the CJP convoy. SCBA Media Adviser Muhammad Azhar Siddique said the chief justice’s convoy had reached the Islamabad motorway toll plaza at 4:55pm due to its slow pace.
He said the Faisalabad convention would become a historic event as there were chances that the first half of the night would be spent on the roads leading to the venue and the convention would start early in the morning on Sunday (today).
Talking to The News on cell phone, LHCBA President Anwar Kamal said many people had joined the caravan of lawyers on way to Faisalabad. He said thousands of charged lawyers had reached Faisalabad to attend the convention in a bid to accelerate the ongoing movement before a ‘long march’ on June 10. LHCBA Secretary Rana Asadullah Khan said the caravan of 4,000 vehicles of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had reached Pindi Bhattian where all convoys joined before moving towards the venue.
Thousands of lawyers from Lahore, Multan, Kasur, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Rahimyar Khan, Peshawar, Quetta and other cities were on way to Faisalabad. Some offices-bearers of bar associations had already reached the city on Friday to check the arrangements made by the district bar for the convention.
LBA President Manzoor Qadir said the arrival of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the bar had turned into a mini ‘long march’ which suggested that the June 10 ‘long march’ would be historic. He said conventions on May 31 in Peshawar and on June 9 in Lahore would help lawyers mobilise the general public for the ‘long march.’