FAISALABAD, May 24: Deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was accorded warm welcome on his arrival here in a procession on Saturday at about 11pm, some five hours behind schedule.
Justice Iftikhar was invited by the Faisalabad Bar Association to address a lawyers’ convention.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N, Jamaat-i-Islami, Sunni Tehrik and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam set up camps outside the district bar to welcome Justice Iftikhar. Workers and leaders of these parties, lawyers and civil society members raised slogans against President Pervez Musharraf and for the deposed judges.
However, no leaders or workers of the Pakistan People’s Party participated in the reception activities. The PML-N’s women wing had also set up a welcome camp.
Earlier, a large number of traders gathered at the zila council office to express solidarity with lawyers and welcome Justice Iftikhar. The Anjuman-i-Tajran also set up a welcome camp outside the council office.
Emotions ran high among members of the legal community and they kept charging the atmosphere with slogans in favour of the deposed judges.
Around 3,000 policemen were deployed at different places to avoid any untoward incident and maintain law and order. All access roads, except for the one designated for the procession, were cordoned off. A delegation of the Jaranwala Bar Association reached the place barefoot. The district bar premises had been illuminated with floodlights.