MULTAN: Lawyers observed a complete strike and locked out all courts, including HCBA and subordinate courts in the city and other parts of south Punjab.
A clash took place between striking lawyers and PPP lawyers led by Ilyas Khan, Ashiq Baloch, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Tariq Saeed and Rana Javed Akhtar tried to enter a courtroom. About five lawyers received minor injuries in the incident. Members of the two committees remained present outside the courtrooms of the subordinate courts and no official and litigants were allowed to enter the court.
High Court Bar Multan president Mahmood Ashraf Khan said: “Some lawyers who wanted to get official jobs are trying to sabotage the lawyers’ struggle but we foiled their attempt and did not let them enter the courts”.
Activists of People’s Lawyers Forum staged a protest rally and chanted slogans against the other faction calling them as miscreants. Both groups used batons, fists and slaps against each other when lawyers made an abortive attempt to enter the high court under the leadership of Ilyas Khan, Ashiq Baloch, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Tariq Saeed, Rana Javed Akhtar.
Multan Bar president Najaf Ali Chavan said: “We were protesting peacefully but Jiyalas attacked us and the protesting lawyers beat them with the sticks of their black flags”.
Lawyers observed a complete boycott of courts’ proceedings here Thursday. They also organised a rally for reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. A heavy contingent of police had been deployed at Chowk Kutchery, SP Chowk while presence of armoured vehicles was also noticed in the area.
The protesting lawyers chanted slogans against the government and for deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
The joint action committee of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) and Multan District Bar Association (DBA) decided to continue lawyers’ movement till the judges’ reinstatement, including deposed chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
Two separate committees were formed to lock out all courts in Multan and other parts of south Punjab.
These committees will ensure a complete lockout of all courts on September 18 & 19 and members of the implementation committees will remain present outside the courts at 7:30am on Thursday and Friday and they will not allow any official or lawyers to enter any court and they will remain there till the working hours of the courts are over.
Some prominent lawyers from various parts of south Punjab will reach Multan and join the lawyers’ strike on Friday (today).
The DBA will arrange a special meeting at the end of lawyers’ strike. A committee headed by Mahmood Ashraf Khan and other office-bearers of the HCBA and DBA will implement the decision of the joint action committee to lock out the high court.
The committee also includes the office-bearers of the HCBA and DBA and more than two dozens prominent lawyers of Multan.
‘PML-N govt in Punjab stable’: Punjab Minister for Auqaf Haji Ehsan-ud-Din Qureshi Thursday said the PML-N government was quite stable in Punjab as it enjoyed the support of the required number of legislators in the provincial assembly.
Talking to reporters here Thursday he said there was a basic clause in the Charter of Democracy (CoD) provided that the two parties would respect each other’s mandate after elections.
He further said the PML-N leadership had decided not to let the democratic process fail.
Qureshi said any effort to destabilise Punjab government would strengthen the impression that politicians had failed to restore democracy in the country by indulging in leg pulling.
He said the recent contacts between the PML-N and PML-Q were presidential election-specific, and no contacts were being made between the two parties any more.
He welcomed the army chief’s statement regarding the country’s defence, saying it was the primary duty of the armed forces to defend territorial boundaries. He said General Kayani’s statement had reflected the people’s will.
The PML-N minister criticised the PPP government for re-appointing the deposed judges.
Qureshi also disagreed with Attorney General Latif Khosa’s statement that even the president and the prime minister were not authorised to restore deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
Thousands of poor people not paid Zakat: Thousands of poor and deserving people, including widows, have not been paid Zakat by District Zakat Committees and other Zakat Committees in Multan for want of proper formation of committees and administrators to distribute it.
Sources said Zakat Council and Pakistan as well as Punjab Bait-ul-Maal were binding to distribute the financial assistance among the needy people with the advent of holy month of Ramazan.
Official sources said the Punjab government had not released funds so far to the authorities concerned for disbursement of Zakat among the destitute.